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.
Here’s a breakdown of China’s year in sports – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Image via @djokernole/Instagram
Djokovic took home the 2018 Shanghai Rolex Masters title, defeating Borna Coric in a 6-3, 6-4 victory. This is the Serbian tennis star’s fourth time taking the top honors at the Shanghai tournament.
Wu Dajing Wins China’s Only Gold Medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
Image via @武大靖/Weibo
Despite the Chinese team’s disappointing showing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, short track speed skater Wu Dajing won China’s only gold medal at the Games in the Men’s 500-meter race, while setting a new world record for the event.
Image via @大聖，Bale/Weibo
Last month, the 29-year-old Shanghai Sharks point guard had the game of his career, scoring 75 points – 40 of which were achieved in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, opponent Beijing Beikong’s Pierre Jackson managed to turn the game around with a three-pointer in the final seconds, resulting in a 137-136 win for Beikong.
Image via @torture99/Weibo
Shanghai SIPG won their first-ever Chinese Super League title, a thrilling 5-4 win against seven-time defending CSL Champions Guangzhou Evergrande, making it the icing on the cake for the winners. Serious plaudits go to winger Wu Lei, whose unprecedented 27 goals in 30 games not only made him the first domestic player to be CSL Top Scorer since Li Jinyu all the way back in 2007, but also 2018 CSL Player of the Season to boot.
Guangzhou Evergrande Win NOTHING
Image via @guangzhou_evergrande/Instagram
After seven years of winning everything, and we mean everything (seven Chinese Super Leagues, four Chinese Super Cups, two Chinese FA Cups and two AFC Champions Leagues), this year Guangzhou won… NOTHING. Will Manager Fabio Cannavaro survive being the first man not to fill the trophy cabinet in eight years? Watch this space…
Image via @波兔儿师父名叫卡拉扬/Weibo
The Shandong Luneng player from Brazil (left) received a RMB40,000 fine for rubbing his face while the Chinese national anthem was playing before his team’s match with Shanghai SIPG. Perhaps victory in the FA Cup can bring an about-face in his fortunes?
Lin Dan Suffers Nine First Round Defeats
Image via Wikimedia
With two Olympic gold medals and five World Championship titles under his belt, the 35-year-old badminton star suffered nine first round defeats in 2018. Sports commentators are speculating if ‘Super Dan’ could even make it to the 2020 Tokyo Games if his performance continues to decline.
And the Ugly...
Image via Wikimedia
Aussie tennis star/manchild Nick Kyrgios threw his annual temper tantrum at the Shanghai Rolex Masters for the fourth year in a row. This time, he got into a verbal argument with the umpire during the match, which Kyrgios would go on to lose, resulting in his ‘shocking’ first round exit.
For more 2018 Year in Review coverage, click here.
[Cover image via Sohu]