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These Are The Top 10 New Online Pop-Culture Memes in China

Posted: 12/29/2014 9:30 am

no zuo no die

With each passing year comes a new crop of pop-culture phrases. And regardless of origin, be it TV, music, or trending websites, only a select few survive beyond their 15 minutes of fame.

The Chinese National Language Monitoring and Research Center has compiled a list of the most popular Chinese phrases of 2014 based on an online poll. Which, if any, do you think will stand the test of time?

1. Mengmengda (萌萌哒)

Since we can only say 可愛 so many times, a new phrase has been created to describe babies, children, small animals, and adult women in China. Meaning “extremely cute”, the phrase comes from Japanese manga and anime, and is frequently used on the Douban website.

2. “It’s so beautiful that I don’t dare open my eyes” (这画面太美,我不敢看)

Taken from Prague Plaza, the Jolin Tsai song featuring Jay Chou, this phrase takes the earnestness of Mandopop and subverts it into a sarcastic way to describe a weird situation.

3. Facekini (脸基尼)

Used to protect the face from unwanted tanning, this term speaks to the influential rise of the “Chinese auntie”; the same group of women responsible for buying up gold, and terrorizing public plazas with their dancing. The facekini garnered international recognition when it was featured in a pictorial by the popular Parisian fashion magazine CR Fashion Book.

4. Doubi (逗比)

Unlike its more commonly used cousin “shabi“, Doubi carries more positive connotations. The term is used to describe someone who is funny in a strange or silly way.

5. “No zuo, no die”

A meme unto its own, this Chinglish phrase is used to express smugness at the imminent failure of others. Exclusively written in English, it’s a way to tell others not to be stupid.

6. ”[I] too, am drunk” (也是醉了)

With origins that may either be a literary way to offset the flattery of others with irony, or an expression of a local dialect to show helplessness, what is known for certain about this phrase is that online gamers use it to deride players who have performed poorly. It has also become a reply to Internet posts or comments that don’t make any sense.

7. APEC Blue

Used to describe a brilliant blue sky, something of a rarity in Beijing, the phrase comes from the extraordinary lengths taken by the Chinese government to ensure the international summit, held in Beijing earlier this year, was free of any air pollution. Despite officials’ insistence that this phenomenon would become commonplace in the smoggy capital, the phrase has gone on to describe something that is both beautiful, yet fleeting.

8 Wealthy and Unrestrained (有钱人性)

This phrase originates from the response of netizens to an April news story about a man who knew he was being swindled, but kept paying money out of curiosity. It’s now used to ridicule people for doing strange things because of money, like building a private elevator.

9. Pulling hatred (拉仇恨)

The rise of the tuhao, or newly rich that aren’t cultured or educated, has meant that China needed a term to describe them. That’s what this phrase speaks to: the hatred and jealousy caused by tuhao boasting about their money.

10. “You can, you up; no can, no BB”

This phrase means “don’t criticize if you can’t do it yourself”. Along with “no zuo no die”, this phrase was lauded by Chinese newspapers as an achievement of Chinese culture for having made it into the user-submitted website, Urban Dictionary.

Photo: kaifu


Nifty Buckle Popular in China Tricks Cars Into Thinking Seatbelt is Fastened

Posted: 10/15/2014 6:01 pm

seatbelt holderGuangzhou traffic police are ramping up another safety campaign targeting drivers that don’t use seatbelts, a particular problem with the proliferation of a nifty little device that tricks cars into thinking a seatbelt is being used.

seatbelt holderThese devices have the metal fasteners part of the seatbelt, but not the strap. This way the car detects the seatbelt as being fastened, and turns off any warning lights or sounds.

As it is, these fasteners come in a variety styles. Check it out:

seatbelt holderseatbelt holderseatbelt holder

seatbelt holder

Eighty percent of Guangzhou drivers don’t wear seatbelts. The penalty, if caught, is RMB 50.

Photos: gaobe, beishang, safetybelt, jd


Guangdong’s “Superbabies” a Miss America for the Toddler Set

Posted: 07/29/2014 6:20 pm

superbaby show foshan talent show childrenWe have seen the future, and it is precocious: Foshan is currently home to the Superbabies children’s talent competition, due to wrap up this Saturday. Split into three shows, this will be the last of the preliminary rounds to be held in the city.

Since July 26, we’ve had displays of singing, dancing, playing of musical instruments, and the latent in-borne skill of child modelling.

superbaby show foshan talent show children

More than 200 parents have forced encouraged their children to participate in the Superbabies competition, and 120 contestants who are older than toddlers now move on to next round.

We’ll have to see if Chinese progress is staying ahead of its Western equivalents Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras.superbaby show foshan talent show childrensuperbaby show foshan talent show childrensuperbaby show foshan talent show childrensuperbaby show foshan talent show children

And then there’s this competitor, which only proves that Superbabies come in all shapes and sizes.

superbaby show foshan talent show children

Photos: Nanhai360


Guizhou’s Giant Duck Disappears Just As Giant Toad Appears in Beijing

Posted: 07/19/2014 2:13 pm

giant yellow duck disappearanceOn the evening of July 16, the Giant Yellow Duck disappeared. The giant-sized Western-style rubber duck has vanished after a heavy rainstorm in Guizhou, Guiyang Province.

But that doesn’t matter anymore. Introducing : the Big Orange Toad.big orange toad

Yes, that’s a guy in a boat in front of the Big Orange Toad.

The Big Orange Toad can currently be seen in Yuyuan Spring Park in Beijing. Not many details have been released yet, but then for an enormously oversized inflated object of cuteness, we’re not sure it needs any.

We can’t say for sure if there’s a connection between the lost duck and the toad. But, toads have been known to change their shape (at least when princesses are involved).

Do you love it? We hope the Big Orange Toad is the new auspicious icon that China’s been waiting for ever since that last icon went suspiciously missing…big orange toad

Photos: The Running Reporter, China Daily


Nothing Happened Yesterday on June 4, and Here’s the Viral Story to Prove It

Posted: 06/5/2014 6:44 pm

Foreign media may have had a lot to say about yesterday being a special day, but news media in China did not. In fact, even if June 4 is a special date, June 4, 2014 most definitely was not.

In fact, by media standards, it was downright boring. In fact, nothing happened. Nothing at all.

In this information age where we process tons of information on a daily basis, saying that nothing happened is a misnomer since something, no matter how irrelevant, must have happened. Weibo doesn’t just turn itself off for a day.

So that’s why we’re bringing to you the most popular story we found on the Chinese interwebs yesterday. Introducing to you: “the boy who pretends to use an iron rebar as a microphone”:

If you wanted to know what Chinese netizens were talking about yesterday, this is it: a series of pictures about a boy that had previously gone viral on social media. This story was reported by CCTV News on its Weibo account, and was rewarded with 16469 likes, 10605 forwards, 2868 comments.

Because we need the details of such an important story that has caught everyone’s attention, here’s the CCTV take on it:

Heavy Metal Construction Boy is Just This Confident (Cool)!—A set of pictures featuring a singing 4 year-old boy has become popular on the internet. This son of a worker, without having access to a cool microphone or a dazzling stage, performs without holding anything back at a construction site. The boy’s parents say that the boy has loved emulating big stars since he was young, and these pictures are from last year during a trip to Xinjiang. Small but magnificent, and exhibiting a pure happiness—this is what a real “mic hog” looks like! We wish little “Brother Cool” keeps having his self-confident happiness throughout his entire life!

People’s Daily put this on their Weibo account, and was given 8220 likes, 13465 forwards, and 3961 comments, and then did so again later in the day.

Everyone was in on it:  Shenzhen Police, Dongguan Daily, Sina Entertainment, China Daily at 1:52pm and 4:29pm, Southern Metropolis Daily at 12.04 and 5:30pmShenzhen Evening Report at 5:05 and 5:34pm, Guangzhou Daily at 2:40 and 8:50pm….

We can’t believe we missed reporting on this yesterday—the hot news story about a boy whom netizens thought was cute. But alas, we can’t find this story anywhere today. Cruel as it is to a boy we haven’t even actually heard sing, such is the fickleness of internet fame.

Yesterday is over. June 4 only comes once a year, and we can only hope there’ll be another feel good story next year.

Photos: CCTV News via Weibo

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