erik lundegaard

Tuesday November 22, 2022

What's on Weibo? Ignoring the Obvious

Now that I’m not on Twitter anymore I’m surfing the internet again. The usual suspects: Times, Post, Atlantic, New Yorker, Slate. Also less-usual ones. Pre-COVID days, I was studying Mandarin Chinese with the Confucian Institute—taking free lessons at the downtown Seattle library—and back then I’d bookmarked a website called What’s on Weibo. It’s an English-language take on social media trends in Mainland China. I thought it was helpful.

So what’s on What's on Weibo these days? Well, the Chinese think Twitter employees are lazy for bucking Elon Musk’s long-hour demands. They have a phrase, “996,” which is like our 24/7, which indicates how much you work if you work in Chinese tech: 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. That's how they think life should be. Sure. Have at, guys.

China is also dealing with more COVID outbreaks like everyone. Beijing is currently fighting a record number of cases. 

Related: Two women in the southern city of Guangzhou tried to pick up a takeout order without wearing masks—violating the zero-tolerance epidemic rules—and were detained, tied up, and publicly shamed by officials. The website describes the controversy thus:

There were those people who blamed local anti-epidemic staff for abusing their power, saying that even if the two women were in the wrong, they should have never been tied up like that. 

But others thought the women purposely created a scene and were being overly aggressive.

The British Telegraph has also reported on the incident and the debate on social media. Same deal: The women were in the wrong. No, the officials shouldn’t have done what they did.

Everyone is ignoring the obvious. Here's the photo of the incident that's accompany these articles. What's not being mentioned?

It's the titillation, stupid. That's why it's big on social media. Everyone gets to pretend the issues are A, B and C, and harrumph harrumph, but it's really about sex.

I guess I'm curious if officials in other Chinese cities have ever done something similar, and did those stories go nowhere because they didn't have this kind of accompany photo. I wouldn't be surprised.

I'm also curious who, or what, the officials were. What are their titles? They're not local police. Is their position community-based or party-based or what?

Posted at 07:35 AM on Tuesday November 22, 2022 in category China  
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