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Chinese Netizens Angered over “China Feeding Africa With Human Meat” Reports

A Zambian newspaper has apologized for spreading rumors that China was selling human meat in Africa. The rumors and the apology have become a much-discussed topic on Sina Weibo, where netizens are angered over the false report.

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A Zambian newspaper has apologized for spreading rumors that China was selling human meat in Africa. The rumors and the apology have become a much-discussed topic on Sina Weibo, where many netizens are furious about the false report.

The Zambian tabloid newspaper Kapecha has apologized after spreading rumors that Chinese people were serving human meat to Africans.

Last May, the newspaper reported that China was routinely canning human flesh and selling it as food to Zambia and other African countries under the label of “corned beef”.

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The rumor was reportedly caused by a woman on social media who posted that Chinese people had started producing corned beef from dead bodies and sending it to Africa. Zambian newspapers such as Kapecha and the Daily Post then re-posted the story.

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The news subsequently became so widespread that China’s ambassador to Zambia eventually was forced to respond to the rumors by late May. According to the BBC, the ambassador stated that the rumors were “aimed at destroying the long-standing partnership” between China and Zambia. Other media report that he also called the rumors “malicious slandering”.

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On June 17, the Communist Youth League reported on Weibo that Zambian newspaper Kapecha has now published an official apology for spreading the rumors. Within a day, the message was shared hundreds of times and received thousands of comments.

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Many netizens responded in anger to the news. A majority of people comment that they are not satisfied with the apology. A netizen called Wang Yanian writes: “I think that there are a lot of fake reports slandering China lately. They apologize after they research it, but where is the dignity for China? Not everything can be solved by an apology. An apology is not enough after they first profit from harming China’s image.”

“The damage is already done, an apology won’t solve this,” other netizens say. And: “You made the rumor frontpage news, why won’t you make the apology frontpage news, too?!”

“China selling human flesh in Africa” is not the first fake China report going viral online. A story of Chinese people eating babies and fetus soup has been making its rounds over the internet for years. The story started circulating because of different images showing a man eating ‘babies’, along with pictures of a ‘fetus soup’.

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In reality, the photos were part of a conceptual art piece titled “Eating People” by Beijing performance artist Zhu Yu (朱昱).

Many Chinese netizens feel that foreign media profit from making China look bad and call the Zambian newspaper “vile” and “disgusting”. There are also netizens who take this chance to turn the tables, writing: “They had it all wrong, it’s the Japanese who are eating human meat!”

– By Manya Koetse

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©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Food & Drinks

Another Hotpot Controversy: Famous Food Critic Wants Hotpot Gone

Hotpot discussions are getting heated.

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One of China’s most famous food critics would rather see hotpot disappear, but hundreds of Chinese netizens do not agree at all.

After a hotpot restaurant became top trending on Weibo yesterday for recruiting ‘Ivy League’ graduates as waiters, another hotpot controversy has hit Chinese social media.

This time, the renowned Hong Kong food critic and cookbook writer Chua Lam (蔡瀾, Cai Lan) has stirred discussions among Chinese netizens over comments he made during an appearance on the Hunan TV talk show Day Day Up (天天向上/Tiantian Shangtian), SupChina and The Guardian reported on January 3rd.

When asked by one of the hosts of the show what dishes he would love to see disappear from the world, Chua answered: hotpot.

“Hotpot is the cooking style that lacks culture the most,” the food critic added: “You just throw the ingredients in there, there’s nothing tasty about it.” Because the hotpot allegedly has no cultural significance and because the cooking style is so easy, the critic suggested it might as well disappear altogether.

Chua Lam is a popular personality on social media. On his Weibo account, he has more than ten million fans.

Read the full story at Hotpot Ambassador here.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Food & Drinks

Hotpot Restaurant with High Standards Goes Viral: Waiters Required to Have ‘Ivy League’ Diploma

Top-notch hotpot restaurant asks for top-notch waiters – stirring controversy online.

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Marketing stunt or serious job requirement? This new Zhengzhou hotpot restaurant, that seeks to recruit ten ‘Ivy League’ graduates as waiters, has become the talk of the day on Chinese social media.

The job announcement of a new Chinese hotpot restaurant has gone viral on Weibo, as the new establishment requires that persons who apply to work as a server to have a degree at a “985” (‘Ivy League’) university.

The job requirements of the restaurant, which is located in Zhengzhou, Henan province, started attracting online attention on December 30. By January 2nd, the hashtag ‘Hotpot Restaurant Requires 985 Diploma in Recruiting Waiters’ (#火锅店招服务员要求985#) had received over 290 million views (!) on Sina Weibo.

Some Weibo netizens said the recruitment announcement was an “insult” to those who have graduated from one of China’s top universities, while others denounced the hotpot restaurant for purposely building hype to drive more customers to the new establishment.

“What does being a ‘985’ graduate have to do with being a waiter?”, one popular comment said: “To be kind-hearted and responsible is what matters.” Others sarcastically comment that home delivery staff might be required to hold a PhD degree in the future.

The so-called “985 Project” was launched in 1998 by former President Jiang Zemin at the 100th anniversary of Peking University on May 4th of that year (985 refers to 1998, May). It was meant to raise the number of (internationally recognized) first-rate universities within China. China’s ‘985’ universities include, among others, Fudan University, Peking University, and Tsinghua.

The job announcement of the new Zhengzhou hotpot restaurant does not completely come out of the blue. The restaurant itself is also called “985 Hotpot College” (985火锅学院), and its outside appearance seems to be themed around the ‘985’ idea.

The restaurant’s job advertisement states that the establishment is looking to recruit ten graduates between the ages of 20 and 30. The annual salary is approximately 200,000 RMB (±US$29,000), which is almost 2,5 times more than the local average pay and up to 8 times more than what waiters in Zhengzhou usually make, according to this Beijing Evening News article.

On January 2nd, the restaurant responded to all the commotion its job advertisement has caused, saying that “every person and organization has the right to pursue their dreams” and that they were hoping to find the right talents to “grow [the business] together.”

Despite the fact that hundreds of netizens condemn the restaurant’s call for ‘Ivy League’ waiters, there are also those who do not see a problem: “The business has the freedom to choose their own standards, and graduates also have the freedom to apply there or not,” some write.

Hotpot restaurants are incredibly popular and common in China. The ubiquity leads to hotpot establishments becoming more and more competitive. In recent years, ‘themed’ hotpot restaurants have popped up like mushrooms in China’s bigger cities, trying to attract customers with their unique concepts, such as revolution-themed hot pot restaurants, robot-themed hotpot places, or even classroom-themed hotpot.

The “985 Hotpot College” will have its highly educated waiters as a unique selling point. Whether or not their hot pot is tasty or not, however, is still unsure – despite the recent hype around the restaurant, its Dianping rating page is still awfully empty.

Want to know more about hotpot? Visit our sister site Hotpotambassador.com here.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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What’s on Weibo provides social, cultural & historical insights into an ever-changing China. What’s on Weibo sheds light on China’s digital media landscape and brings the story behind the hashtag. This independent news site is managed by sinologist Manya Koetse. Contact info@whatsonweibo.com. ©2014-2018

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