2016 is nearly over and while its been a fantastic year for viral videos in virtually all corners of the world, China’s enormous population means that the country is a goldmine for hilarious, heartwarming and occasionally downright bizarre videos. With the year drawing to a close here are a few of our favourite viral videos from China in 2016.
SK-II: Marriage Market Takeover
Skin care brand SK-II produced a courageous film this year, taking on the idea of the ‘Sheng nu’ or ‘leftover woman’, a derogatory term for women who remain unmarried after the age of 25. The treatment of such women has been absolutely shameful, and SK-II has worked to fight back against this stigma, taking over a so called ‘marriage market’, a place where parents go to post ads for their daughter in an attempt to marry them off as quickly as possible. SK-II used the platform provided to produce a gorgeous night lit installation, created with its own twist on the marriage ads: messages from hundreds of young women, announcing their control over their own destiny and their refusal to be defined by whether or not they were married.
Given the beauty industry’s reliance in the past on pressuring women to conform to certain fixed standards of beauty and character, this is a great step in the recent movement to detach women’s beauty from the sort of patriarchal control that has stifled them for decades. SK-II should be applauded for their decision to support this sort of liberation for the women of China, and we hope to see much more of this sort of thing in the future.
Papi Jiang’s Live Debut
The girl next door with attitude, Papi Jiang is a Chinese Youku celebrity, whose rants on topics like dieting and nagging parents have built her an army of followers throughout China, all hanging off of her every word. The phenomenon of ‘Youtube Celebrities’ (or in this case Youku) is relatively new in China, with figures such as Jenna Marbles having cornered the market in the West years ago, but China is quickly catching up and Papi is the shining star if this new movement. Papi has been a success for some time but decided to step things up a notch this year with her first live appearance. In July, Papi Jiang’s live debut, an unscripted 90 minute rant, was watched over 74 million times in day. While its true that in China everything is amplified by its huge population, managing to pull more views than the entire population Great Britain is no small feat.
Toddler Defends His Grandma From the Chengguan
Without a doubt the most adorable video we’ve seen come out of China this year, a toddler courageously (and hilariously) takes on the Chengguan (China’s urban management force) with a steel pipe in an attempt to defend his grandma from their unwanted attention. The Chengguan have become rather controversial in recent times, earning the ire of street vendors everywhere as they try to enforce some of China’s health and safety laws (yes, believe it or not they do exist). While its not exactly clear what has led to the confrontation, one thing is for sure, its a bad idea to mess with this kid’s grandma when he’s around!
Futuristic Bus Straddles Roads Allowing Cars Underneath
Earlier this year, New China TV reported that one firm believed it had found the solution to the traffic and overcrowded roads that blight so many cities (not least Beijing and Shanghai). Transit Explore Bus a Beijing based company, revealed its design for the high tech new public transport system earlier this year. Straddling each side of the road, the colossal bus would be capable of carrying up to 1,400 passengers, and would allow any car under 2 metres tall to easily pass beneath it. This impressive design left viewers in awe (and presumably in fits of jealously that they didn’t think of it first) around the world, and many are now hungry to see this technology in action on the roads of our cities.
Trump’s Granddaughter Speaking Chinese
And finally we return to Trump (surely you’re not sick of hearing that name yet?). Its not ‘The Donald’ in the spotlight this time though, probably for the best all things considered, but rather his granddaughter Arabella, wowing the Chinese with her Mandarin skills as she recited lines of classical Tang era poetry in a traditional Chinese blouse. While some netizens expressed skepticism at the video, the reaction was largely positive, with some viewers arguing that Trump’s China bashing was all for show in the election and that this proves deep down he loves China. Is this line of reasoning likely to be preponderant in the circles of the Communist Party? I don’t think so, but whatever the case Trump has just earned himself some much needed good PR with the people of China, and it seems a safe bet that we’ll be seeing a lot more of young Araballa over the next few years.
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