It’s been one hell of a year to say the least, particularly for those of us based in China. We’ve seen ‘The Tweeter in Chief’ launch (and then halt) a trade war between the world’s two leading economic powers, Fan Bingbing disappear and then reappear (with a major fine to pay) and another record-breaking Singles’ Day haul for Alibaba. To wrap up 2018, our editorial team has put together a list of the year’s most unforgettable viral stories, recounting major occurrences that defined the worlds of sports, tech, arts, fashion and food. Here’s to another year of eclectic, weird and wonderful life in China, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another year, another collection of viral videos from the People’s Republic. From the spectacular to the downright wacky, here are some of our top viral videos from China in 2018. (Admittedly, we might be stretching the definition of viral just a little bit for a few of these videos, but we can attest they were all extremely popular on thatsmags.com in 2018).
Revenge is a dish best served… monthly? In a bizarre story out of Foshan, two women were seen on surveillance footage back in March inexplicably plastering a man’s BMW with sanitary pads in what appeared to be a strange kind of retaliation for past wrongdoings.
A video emerged in March of 2018 of a Foshan man emerging triumphant from a bout with a reptilian foe. The encounter occurred in a rural area of Foshan’s Shunde county, according to Foshan Public Broadcast. Residents of a riverside village reported hearing loud thrashing sounds coming from a murky local waterway for three nights running.
When the source of the nocturnal commotion was revealed to be a freshwater crocodile, Mr. Chen, a local sanitation worker and volunteer member of the village safety committee, decided to take matters into his own hands...
There’s nothing like a little live entertainment to spice up a meal, although in this case, four diners at a Shenzhen restaurant could have done without. All reportedly lost their appetite after a large rat clambered down the wall and jumped onto their table, briefly splashing into their hot pot before making its escape.
The incident occurred around dinner time, April 3, at a mall restaurant in Bao’an District. A man surnamed Lin and three friends were the first to spot the rodent, alerting the rest of the restaurant with their screams.
Netizens were furious earlier this year after footage surfaced online of a man hauling a dying dolphin off a Guangdong beach over the Labor Day holiday, which ran from April 29 to May 1. In the video, a man in black swim-trunks can be seen carrying a dolphin – which is casually flung over his shoulder – down the beach as an unidentified woman follows behind him. The troubling incident occurred on Hailing Island.
Models fall on runways all the time, but during this season’s Shanghai Fashion Week, Zhang Yaoyang’s cute little tumble made him an internet sensation overnight.
During a ‘Kids Wear’ show, the 4-year-old model was seen showing off his brown coat until he collided with a pair of models who walked down the wrong side of the runway. To everyone’s surprise, the little boy smiled through the whole ordeal, and a video of the incident garnered one million likes in two days.
Footage of a fight among foreigners in China posted by Reddit user ‘agrengs’ made waves back in May, though not for the reasons you might think.
That’s partly due to the setting – a McDonald’s in Shenzhen – and also because all four participants were apparently intoxicated. Amused netizens took shots at the slapstick silliness of the bout, from which the combatants emerged mostly unscathed.
Morning meals are often a relaxing time when you can gorge yourself with food and chat with family and friends. But this past May at the Xinjing Royal View Hotel in Jiangmen, Guangdong, two families lost all sense of civility in a petty brawl over tea.
At 12.30pm on May 21, Guangzhou Daily reported, a man surnamed Chen and his family went to the hotel for dim sum. The table they settled on, however, was claimed by another family. Soon verbal arguments escalated into physical confrontation and several members from one family began dishing out their indignation by flinging plates at the rival group.
On June 15, a 52-year-old man in Shenzhen surnamed Li went through what was likely one of the creepiest experiences in his life. According to Shenzhen Evening News, Li felt discomfort in his ear at 3am that morning, but instead of going to the hospital immediately, he endured it for six hours. When he finally caved and went to Shenzhen’s Pingshan Hospital, a doctor surnamed Shang discovered a 2-centimeter-long, live cockroach in Li’s ear. Gross!
A fast-acting pet owner in South China saved her pooch from an uncertain fate (presumably a dinner plate) in August when she used a broomstick to fend off a marauding dog snatcher.
The whole scene unfolded just outside the dog owner’s home and was captured by a nearby surveillance camera. In the footage, the dog thief can be seen attempting to lasso the woman’s pet from a fast-moving vehicle. The dog owner, who appears to be sweeping her driveway, hits the canine bandido with her broom just in time to thwart the attempt.
A man in South China claimed this year to have created the world’s first ‘flying scooter,’ although we’d be remiss not to point out its resemblance to a large quadcopter drone. According to United Press International (UPI), the aerial vehicle can seat one person and travel at a top speed of roughly 70 kilometers per hour. The machine’s maximum load is 99 kilograms.
The sky scooter’s builder, Zhao Deli, made a video recording of a test flight in Dongguan, Guangdong.
On August 15, according to Guangzhou Daily, a 6-year-old boy climbed out the window of his family’s eighth floor apartment after he heard noises and assumed “bad guys” had broken into the flat. Once outside, the young whippersnapper lowered himself onto the AC unit of the apartment directly beneath his family’s place.
This is where dad comes in: the boy’s mother, surnamed Huang, called both emergency services and her husband. The child’s father immediately left his place of work and was home “within 10 minutes.” Instead of waiting for first responders to arrive, though, the spider-dad climbed out the window and down to the seventh floor AC unit where his son was clinging on for dear life.
One bachelor in Yangjiang, a coastal city in Guangdong province, had what you might call a ‘wild’ night out on Friday, September 7. The man reportedly entered an unmanned sex shop that was stocked with an impressive array of adult toys at around 9pm. The item the man was apparently most interested in: an inflatable sex doll.
Presumably strapped for cash (or his phone battery was dead, who knows), Yangjiang’s horniest man began smashing the plastic door that was separating him from his night’s desire. The whole incident was caught on the store’s surveillance system.
Typhoon Mangkhut brought death, destruction and transportation mayhem to South China back in September. The storm’s crashing waves and strong winds hit Guangdong’s coastal regions hardest (although folks in Guangzhou will also tell you it was one hell of a storm). In Shenzhen, at Dameisha, storm swell completely flooded the beach and buildings located near the shoreline, including at least one five-star hotel.
Have you ever fallen asleep on a subway? Nah, us neither. But on September 18 on Shenzhen’s Longgang Metro Line this exact situation unfolded, with a man going into full hibernation mode on a train’s bench seat.
According to Mr. Zhu, the bystander who filmed the video below, when he boarded the train at Laojie Station he immediately saw the man sprawled out on the bench. No one dared go near the slumbering commuter and he remained laying down for a total of 11 stops, until reaching Tangkeng Station.
On October 9, a child took it upon himself to get an unconventional (and not professionally prescribed) X-ray scan, utilizing a railway station’s security checkpoint bag scanner in Zhongshan. The youngster climbed onto the conveyor belt at Guangzhu Intercity Xiaolan Railway Station while his father and security personnel were preoccupied.
In the video, you can see the child’s father walking through the body scanner, moments later realizing his child is no longer behind him. After walking back to the front of the security checkpoint, the boy is still nowhere to be seen. A few seconds later, he emerges from the luggage-inspecting machine confronted by an upset dad.
If there’s one thing Cantonese people like to do big, it’s food. Specifically, extravagant multi-course banquets that last for hours. Somehow though, it’s comforting to have that fact certified by an international organization that travels the world putting such claims of greatness to the test.
That’s exactly what happened earlier this year in Dongguan when, according to Zaker News, about 40,000 people gathered in a mass banquet to enjoy some good old-fashioned poon choi or ‘basin feast’ – a traditional Hakka meal consisting of varied ingredients layered in one big bowl, usually eaten on holidays and family gatherings.
A 24-year-old man in Hong Kong literally ‘made it rain’ in the most classic hip hop sense when he tossed HDK6,000 from a building in one of the city’s poorest areas, Sham Shui Po. The incident happened on Saturday, December 15, when Wong Ching-kit, who is also known as ‘Coin Young Master,’ according to Channel News Asia, tossed bank notes into the air above Fuk Wa Street – triggering a frenzy in the road below. The stunt, which has been linked to a cryptocurrency Wong was promoting, caused hundreds of people to swarm the road in hopes of snagging some of the falling HKD100 bills.
A video surfaced online back in August that shows a steady string of passengers dodging fares on the Shanghai Metro. The footage, allegedly captured at Jiading Xincheng Station on Line 11 at around 5.30pm on August 20, shows several people ducking underneath the turnstiles to avoid subway fares. Up to seven people can be seen avoiding fares in the span of 10 seconds.
Back in January, Mamahuhu released their 40th sketch, a parody of classic Steven Spielberg film Jurassic Park. This episode examines foreigners in their natural habitat at ‘Laowai Park’ (AKA local Shanghai watering hole/F&B crater Found 158).
Back in September, video footage emerged of a woman bucking modern transportation trends by opting to take a late night horseback ride along the streets of downtown Shanghai.
The incident took place at around 11pm on the evening of September 11. Videos and images that circulated widely on social media showed the woman wearing a black tank top and high-heeled boots as she rode a horse along the side of the Yan’an Lu elevated road.
Former UK Prime Minster David Cameron was spotted at Shanghai’s iconic Bar Rouge on Thursday, September 6. (Thursday nights are ladies’ nights at Bar Rouge, if we might add). In a video provided to That's Shanghai, Mr. Cameron can be seen sitting down at an enclosed private/VIP table at the bar, enjoying the stunning rooftop views of The Bund. As Cameron leaves his table, he is flanked by a few men who appear to be his security detail, for which all former prime ministers are eligible.
For more 2018 Year in Review coverage, click here.