We have welcomed in 2015 and so it is now that time of year to reflect on the offerings of 2014 and see what was popular according to Chinese netizens. 2014 saw a number of viral videos garner millions of views worldwide; but what videos from China made it big? From the cute and dramatic to the downright bizarre, there were certainly some unforgettable videos across the mainland. Let’s take a look at what caught the attention of the population throughout the previous year with a rundown of these viral videos.
1) Dance Videos
The world is no stranger to viral dance videos (Gangnam Style anyone?) but some of these go one step further, displaying scantily-clad Chinese girls and very broken English in their attempts at mimicking the success of others before them. This dance video with models performing to “Me Me Da” is just one such case. Take a look as the video – shot in the style of square dancing performers – oozes cringe worthy moments whilst members of the public look on somewhat bemused. Whilst there appears to be neither rhyme nor reason to what the video is trying to portray, what they do manage to do is relegate themselves to the depths of video hell, never to see daylight again. This, along with others produced in much the same manner (such as Xie Rong’er’s “I’m Not Going to be Your Concubine” and Gong Yuefei’s take on “What Does the Fox Say?”) has only ensconced itself firmly in the general public’s belief that traditional values have all but disappeared now that young, lithe, 20-somethings prancing about singing of mistresses, money and sex, are considered newsworthy.
2) Music Videos
And from the trashy comes the downright crazy. The Chick Chick Song stormed the internet, becoming an overnight sensation. Music videos are slightly different to dance videos in that they are set to a background story of sorts and so comes a story from Chinese pop star Wang Rong brimming not with traditional fairy tale characters, but with squawking women dressed in bird suits and men in various stages of undress wearing, amongst other things, a horse head and the head of a ram that could give you nightmares for life.
But how could we forget the most popular and ridiculous music video of the year - the hit song that the whole of China is singing: Xiao Ping Guo by The Chopstick Brothers? It has been likened to China’s version of PSY’s Gangnam Style since its release and has taken the country by storm. With an easy melody and simple, repetitive lyrics the song has become a phenomenon on the mainland with parodies of it appearing almost daily and more than 50 million views on social media sites as of October 2014. The video tells of a botched plastic surgery operation before cutting to Adam and Eve supposedly in the Garden of Eden- a largely nonsensical story that has the right amount of humour making it such a hit.
3) The Russian Daredevils
On Chinese New Year Day in February last year, two Russian daredevil climbers – Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov – broke into and scaled the Shanghai Tower, which was still only partially constructed at that time. According to Raskalov,
“We prepared carefully and picked an appropriate date, the Chinese New Year day. At that time the security was less watchful, workers were on vacations, and cranes did not work. We got to the crane at around midnight. [...] The result you can see in our new video.”
The heart stopping video gives a terrifying bird’s eye view as the two were armed only with Go-Pro cameras strapped to their heads. They waited for the cover of darkness until they began their ascent, which took the pair around two hours to complete using no safety equipment, so as to avoid the authorities. Since it was foggy when they reached the top, they waited hours for it to clear so that they could capture some breath-taking photographs from over 2000 feet above the ground. The images are dizzying and the video is definitely not one for the faint hearted …
4) Cute Dancing Boy on Reality TV Show
In the first trimester of the year, three year old reality TV star Zhang Junhao went viral with his ‘random dance moves’ when he appeared as a performer on a Chinese talent show, wowing the judges with his incredibly calm composure and excellent dancing finesse. Within the first three weeks of being uploaded the video had achieved more than 9 million views, with the cute toddler capturing the hearts of the people thanks to his ability to remain calm under pressure as well as appearing totally unperturbed in front of an audience of hundreds and a barrage of questions by the judges. The youngster proved himself to be quite a credit to his mother showcasing his sunny disposition in the 9-minute clip.
5) An Ode to the Presidential Couple
As 2014 came to a close, an unlikely video entitled Uncle Xi Loves Mother Peng gained millions of views when it was released and heavily promoted by state-run media in order to enhance the image of Xi Jinping as a ‘Man of the People’. The video sings the praises of the country’s leader and celebrates the romance and ‘everlasting and legendary’ relationship between him and First Lady Peng Liyuan.
Since the CCP are acutely aware of negative connotations and impressions, the video – with its overly childish lyrics – leave no margin for error as it is set to a background montage of pictures of the pair together, stealing glances at one another throughout. The topic, deemed to be highly sensitive for the political party who are no strangers to deleting any information that criticises them, appeared to strike the right kind of chord since they allowed it to be viewed more than 125 million times alone in the first week of its release. The lyricist, Song Zhigang, when interviewed by the Zhengzhou Evening News told them that he felt ‘inspired’ to write the song after seeing images of the couple together in recent news coverage with singer Yu Runze adding, “We thought their story would make a good love song.”
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Keywords: Chinese Netizens 2014 viral videos China videos that went viral in China
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