The 6 Most Viral Memes in China in 2015

By THAT'S, December 22, 2015

3 0

This part of our China's 2015 Year in Review series. For more on 2015 Online trends in review, read our interview with author Liz Carter here and a list of the 10 most popular WeChat accounts here.

New memes, viral videos and gifs appear so quickly that the very concept of a calendar year seems as archaic as pre-Weibo social media. So summarizing a year in online phenomena can only ever be – just like most of the Internet – an arbitrary collection of funny things. This year was fundamentally no different from the one preceding it, though some of the details changed. ‘APEC Blue’ became ‘Winter Olympics Blue;’ praise for the Facebook CEO’s Mandarin became scorn for the Xiaomi CEO’s English. Viral trends are fleeting and sure to be forgotten. But for one more time this year: Enjoy. Forget. Repeat. 

Lots of things went viral this year, but some viruses are worse than others. Like how polio is worse than herpes.

1. Belly button challenge

Belly Button Challenge

In a collective act of unashamed narcissism, the belly button challenge saw Weibo users attempting to touch their own navel by reaching around their backs. It was, of course, a thinly veiled excuse for people to show off their slim bodies (which is actually more a sign of shoulder flexibility, but whatever).

2. Duang

Jackie Chan: Duang

It all began with Jackie Chan’s shampoo commercial: “...after filming, visual effects are added, the hair – duang! – becomes black, very shiny and very smooth,” he exclaimed. No one knows what ‘duang’ means, but that’s kind of the point. It soon spread across the web as a multi-purpose sound effect.

3. Me, my selfies and I

Sergio Arguero, Xi Jinping, David Cameron Selfie

The following photographic masterpieces proved particularly popular: Xi Jinping with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Manchester City footballer Sergio Aguero; Premier Li Keqiang with Indian PM Narendra Modi; Aibaba’s Jack Ma with French President François Hollande and assorted tycoons.

4. Brother Orange

Brother Orange and Matt Stopera

This one had all the ingredients of viral gold: stolen goods, selfies in front of fruit trees and a nationwide hunt for the man with Matt Stopera’s phone. The Buzzfeed writer and a guy from Guangdong (forever known as Brother Orange) went global with their bromance. Heartwarming stuff.

5. The ‘magic bunny’

Ily Pika

There are two important things to know about the Ili pika: it’s cute and it’s endangered. Awareness of the rarely sighted Chinese mammal spread throughout the net (albeit under the technically inaccurate name ‘magic bunny’) after it was profiled by National Geographic.

6. Wang Sicong

Wang Sicong

The son of China’s richest man was a constant source of fascination and controversy in 2015. Social media exploded when Wang gave his dog Apple Watches, when he spoke English with a British accent, and when he made vulgar comments about women. Thankfully, most reacted with outrage.

more news

This 200-year-old Sake Brand Is Coming to China, so We Tried It

Sake has become increasingly prevalent in China, as many young consumers prefer the rice-based alcohol over baijiu.

10,000 New Blockchain Companies Started in China Already This Year

More than 10,000 blockchain companies established in China despite economic recession amidst the pandemic.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Area 501

Caribbean color, Caribbean flavors.

Shanghai Restaurant Review: Charcohol

Charcoal-grilled foods and craft cocktails – char and (al)cohol, geddit?

WIN! 10 Free Cocktails at KIN's Songkran Thai New Year Party

Special gre3n cocktails all week, as well as a street food-inspired food menu.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives