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Hot topics on Chinese social media this week

Every week we pick up the most discussed topics on Chinese social media to give you a glimpse of the cyber world of China today.

How to stay safe as a woman in China: Attend self-defence classes?

This week, social networks and news portals were all reporting a brazen crime- a female nearly got abducted by a man in a hotel under the watch of surveillance cameras and bystanders. The hotel in Beijing is meant to be one of the high-end branches of Homeinns, a leading budget hotel chain brand in China.

The report says a man followed a woman out of the elevator in the hotel and abruptly starting to drag and choke her, forcing her to follow him. The woman screamed, struggled, and cried for help to a hotel cleaning worker standing nearby. This hotel employee didn’t bother to stop the perpetrator, instead, he softly tried to reconcile the dispute as if they were a fighting couple. In a five-minute security camera recording of the struggle, several passersby saw the crime scene and ignored it, until later a woman intervened and saved the victim.

There is now a pattern in China of criminal gangs who abduct women where they pretend to be families of the victim and tell the onlookers that their fight is just a family issue. Most girls are frightened by the creepy trickiness of criminals and shocked by the slack security of the hotel. (The indifference of onlookers is already a fact of life.)

Some feel irritated over the many posts on the subject, including that of the People’s Daily Weibo account, in which people are telling women to learn self-defence. A Weibo user replied, “Why are there no fucking posts telling men not to do these illegal acts!”

Teenagers, watch your language online. Supervisors are eyeing on you!

When watching a video, viewers can make comments that will be plastered on top of the video and be seen by all. The scrolling comments overlaid on videos are called “Danmu” in Chinese, which originally comes from a Japanese animation, comics and games (ACG) video portal.

Chinese ACG websites AcFun and Bilibili picked it up quickly and made it the prominent feature of these two sites. “Danmu” is now an indispensable way for their users, mostly millennials who are crazy about ACG culture, to communicate and entertain on video sites.

The State-run Legal Evening News recently had an article that cites some specialists who say that more and more vulgar and even illegal content is emerging in “Danmu” comments and suggest a real-name registration of commenters who use “Danmu”.

Some netizens spoke up for AcFun and Bilibili, saying they do have related regulations on “Danmu” management and some are worried that nosy experts are going to ruin their fun by imposing stricter rules on using “Danmu”.

Is it possible to be young, pretty and super rich at the same time? These girls say yes

Wanghong is translated as “web celebrity” in English. For most Chinese, when you mention Wanghong, one pictures the kind of girl who has a pretty face with exquisite makeup, a Weibo account with millions of followers and Weibo posts full of photos of herself and her upper middle-class life.

Later, somehow these girls manage to set up their own Taobao shops to sell cosmetics and clothes, making big money from their huge fanbase. Hangzhou is now a famous incubator city for Wanghong on account of it being the headquarters of China’s largest e-commerce platform Alibaba. Reports say real estate prices on a riverside road are going up, because more and more Wanghong are drawn to live there. Many of them buy high-end flats by paying in full!

How much do they earn a month?

A girl named Yu Xiaoxiao, originally a model, is now a web celebrity on Weibo and a Taobao shopper with her own garment company and catering company. As she disclosed in an interview, and hold your breath, the monthly revenue volume of her online shop has reached RMB four million! Millions of RMB per month, OMG.

“It is a glory to be a 3s lady.” What? Why?

“Shengnu” in Chinese, or 3s lady, i.e. single, born in the seventies and stuck, is a term to describe a woman who isn’t married before her thirties. It literally means “leftover woman”, which is obviously not a respectful term.

In China, people that care the most about one’s marriage are the parents. For many parents, if a daughter is a so called “3s lady”, they begin to feel worried. They ask their daughter to show some understanding for them, not to be rebellious and not to be picky. Some even blame themselves for causing whatever is wrong with their daughter.

Many women are under great pressure. They think: what is so wrong with making my own decision of when to get married or whether to get married at all. While at the same time, they are caught in a dilemma where they are meant to honor their parents and feel guilty if they don’t.

The above are scenarios of a newly released ad by a famous skincare cosmetics brand. In an attempt to gain the attention of women by bringing about this hot topic, the ad shows empathy for them and advocates for “reasonable” values in marriage, with an ending that parents show their understanding of daughters who want to make their own decisions.

Nice try! But, a line in the ad says “it is glorious to be a Shengnu.” Seriously? So it has to be either shame or glory? How about first removing the title “Shengnu”?

Originally published at on April 10, 2016.

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