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China and Covid19

Chinese Woman Quarantined in Hotpot Restaurant for Three Days: “Can’t Eat Another Bite”

Hotpot Friday night turned into a three-day hotpot marathon for this lady from Zhengzhou.

Manya Koetse

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On March 18, a Chinese woman named Wang from Zhengzhou was just about to leave after a hotpot dinner night with friends when the restaurant staff told her she could not go home. Word had just gotten in that a visitor of the restaurant had tested positive for Covid-19.

In line with strict measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Ms. Wang and all others who were still at the restaurant were required to stay there. Three of Wang’s friends had already gone home early, but for Wang and one other friend their hotpot Friday night would turn into a three-day hotpot marathon.

Chinese state media Global Times reported about the incident on March 21, but the news previously went viral on Chinese social media, where people started following the story while the woman was still quarantined.

Wang was stuck in the restaurant together with some thirty to forty other customers and about ten members of staff. The restaurant, Banu Hot Pot (巴奴毛肚火锅概念餐厅), offered free hotpot to their guests during their unexpected quarantine, along with midnight noodles and breakfast. The quarantined customers were also allowed to order whatever they felt like having, Wang said in an interview with Wutong Video.

News about people getting stuck in various places due to strict Covid-19 measures is frequently popping up on Chinese social media these days. In late February, one office worker from Shenzhen asked for help on Weibo after she got stuck inside the office with about 200 people for three nights and four days because their ‘health code’ in their Health Kit app turned red due to a nearby Covid-19 case.

Code red on the Shenzhen health kit, meanning you’ve been in close contact with someone suspected of being infected with Covid19.

Office workers slept in the office for three nights.

Temporary lockdowns are implemented to isolate and screen people who have been in close contact with someone suspected of being infected with Covid19 and to prevent potential further spread until the risk level is assessed and changes. When information comes out that someone who has tested positive for Covid has visited the place where you are, it is very possible to get ‘stuck’ due to a temporary lockdown.

This also happened on March 11 at the Canton Fair Complex (广交会展馆) in Guangzhou, where visitors of the China International Beauty Expo (CIBE) were banned from exiting the building and needed to get tested after it became clear that someone who tested positive for Covid had visited the premises (Weibo hashtag: #一疑似新冠阳性人员进入广交会展馆#). According to some visitors, they had to stay inside for over eight hours without air conditioning or water.

Compared to those getting stuck inside their school, office building, or expo hall, the location where Ms. Wang got stuck was a blessing in disguise. The hotpot restaurant where she had to stay for three days, Banu Hotpot, is a popular chain specialized in tripe and mushroom hotpot. Founded in 2001, Banu is headquartered in Zhengzhou and has won several awards over the past decade, including one for being a most-loved hotpot brand.

Despite her arguable ‘luck’, Ms. Wang herself said that after basically having all-you-can-eat hotpot for three days in a row, she “could not eat another bite.”

On social media platform Weibo, there are those hotpot-loving people who say they are envious of Wang, but there are more people who say they feel bad for her getting stuck inside a restaurant, especially since her other friends left just before her and had no problems exiting the building.

The incident has also sparked some discussions on which places people would prefer to get stuck at. “I’d rather not get caught up in a temporary lockdown at all,” one Weibo commenter wrote: “But if I could choose, I’d rather get stuck in a high-end bathhouse in Dongbei [northeast China] where you can bathe, eat, and sleep. Even if it lasted a week I’d be fine with it.”

For more about Covid in China, check our articles here.

Want to know more about Hotpot? Check out hotpotambassador.com!

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar

    hougou

    March 25, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    It’s time to update hotpotambassador.com with a post on how to marathon hotpot.

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China and Covid19

Anger over Guangzhou Anti-Epidemic Staff Picking Locks, Entering Homes

While these Guangzhou homeowners were quarantined at a hotel, anti-epidemic staff broke their door locks and entered their homes.

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WEIBO SHORT | Weibo Shorts are concise articles on topics that are trending. This article was first published

Dozens of homeowners in Guangzhou, Guangdong, were angered to find out the locks of their apartment doors were broken during their mandatory hotel quarantine.

The residents had gone to a quarantine location after a positive Covid case in their building. Afterward, anti-epidemic staff had entered their homes for disinfection and to check if any residents were still inside.

The incident happened earlier this month in an apartment complex in the Liwan district of the city.

The incident first gained attention on July 10 when various videos showing the broken door locks were posted online. During the morning, the property management had conducted an ’emergency inspection’ of 84 households. The doors were later sealed.

The case went trending again on July 18 when the residential district apologized to all homeowners for the break-ins and promised to compensate them.

“What’s the use of apologizing?” some Weibo commenters wondered. “Where is the law? If this even happens in Guangzhou now and people in Guangdong put up with this, what else will they dare to do in the future?”

On Chinese social media, most comments on the Guangzhou incident were about the break-ins allegedly being unlawful.

Media reporter and Toutiao author Kai Lei (@凯雷), who has over two million followers on Weibo, said the incident showed that those breaking in “had no regard for the law.”

To read more about Covid-19 in China, check our articles here.

By Manya Koetse
With contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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China and Covid19

Beijing Communities Asking People to Wear Electronic Monitoring Wristband during Home Quarantine

“It’s almost like wearing electronic handcuffs. I don’t want to wear this,” one tech blogger wrote after being asked to wear a monitoring wristband during home quarantine.

Manya Koetse

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Social media posts from Beijing residents claiming that they were asked to wear electronic monitoring wristbands during home quarantine have prompted angry reactions on Weibo.

“Last week, I went on a work trip to Guangzhou and before I returned to Beijing I did the nucleic acid tests in time. I also reported my home isolation to authorities and received the antigen tests. In the middle of the night, I then received a notification from my community that they are giving me an electric bracelet to wear,” one Beijing resident writes on Weibo on July 14: “If they need to monitor my health, I’ll cooperate with temperature checks and nucleic acid tests at the door, but I cannot accept this so-called 24-hour electronic monitoring.”

Similar stories by Beijing residents returning back to the city after traveling have popped up on Chinese social media over the past few days. Tech blogger Dahongmao (@大红矛) – who has over 170,000 followers on Weibo – also shared their wristband experience, writing:

After returning to Beijing from a business trip, I reported to the community on my own initiative, and also volunteered to take the tests and stay in home isolation. Seeing that I could go out, a lady from the community called me and said that there was a new policy again and that all people in home quarantine must wear an electronic bracelet, and that it would be delivered to me that night. She explained that it is used to check the body temperature and that they could conveniently monitor body temperature data on the phone. I said that I had already strictly followed Beijing’s requirements in accordance with the anti-epidemic work. If this bracelet can connect to the internet, it definitely is also able to record my movements and it’s almost like wearing electronic handcuffs. I don’t want to wear this. If you want to know my temperature, just come to the door and check me, that’s fine, I’m also still clocking in to do antigen testing everyday. She said it’s a requirement from higher-up and that I shouldn’t make it difficult for her, I said I would not want to make it difficult for her but that she could tell those above her that I won’t wear it. If you insist that I wear it, you’ll have to come up with the documents that prove that it’s a Beijing government requirement and that this is not some unlicensed company trying to make a profit.

As more stories started surfacing about Beijing compounds asking residents to wear electronic bracelets during their home isolation, various hashtags related to the issue made their rounds on Chinese social media and photos taken by people wearing the bracelets also were posted online.

Photos of the wristband’s packaging show the electronic wristband is manufactured by Beijing Microsense Technology (北京微芯感知科技有限公司), a local Beijing company established in April of 2020 that is located in the city’s Haidian District.

These stories raised concerns online, especially because the wristband had not been announced as a policy by the city’s official health authorities.

“Resist the craziness,” one Weibo user wrote: “Our personal freedom is covertly being limited, and there’s people making a profit behind it.” “This is becoming more and more like one big prison,” one Zhejiang-based blogger wrote.

Tech blogger Dahongmao later updated their Weibo story about the bracelets, saying the community staff had come back to retrieve the electronic bracelets on Thursday afternoon because they had received “too many complaints.” News of the wristbands being recalled after too many complaints also became a hashtag on Weibo (#大量投诉质疑后社区回收电子手环#).

Chinese state media commentator Hu Xijin (@胡锡进), who is Beijing-based, also responded to the controversy, emphasizing that the bracelets had already been retrieved by community workers and that Beijing city would not force people to wear electronic wristbands during home quarantine. “I wonder if this adjustment was made due to the pressure of public opinion,” Hu wrote: “But even if it was, let us encourage this kind of respect shown in the face of public discontent and opposition.” He also made a video about the incident for his Hu Says series.

Earlier on Thursday, Hu had called some of the posts about the electronic wristbands “unfounded rumors” because people returning to Beijing from low-risk regions inside of China do not even need to isolate at home at all.

According to the official guidelines, individuals arriving (back) in Beijing must have a green health code and a negative nucleic acid test obtained within 48 hours. Only those individuals coming in from overseas must complete a 7-day centralized quarantine plus 3-day home isolation. Secondary contacts of confirmed cases will also be asked to do 7 days of home quarantine.

“Don’t say it’s just rumors,” one Weibo user wrote: “I’m wearing one [a wristband] right now. I had to, because my roommate returned from a trip.”

Blogger Dahongmao responded to Hu’s post about the wristband, saying: “Hu, if you are really concerned about this, then help to ask the relevant departments about these three questions. 1) Why doesn’t this consumer electronic product have the nationally required 3C certificate? 2) How come this anti-epidemic product doesn’t have medical device certification? 3) Without these two certificates, how did this [company] enter the purchasing list of the government for the Winter Olympics?”

As reported by Jiemian News, the same company that allegedly produced these wristbands also manufactured a smart wearable temperature measurement device called a “temperature band-aid,” which was used in the Olympic Village during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

On the late afternoon of July 14, the Beijing Municipal Health Commission responded to the online concerns about the electronic wristband, reportedly saying that home isolation is only necessary for people returning to Beijing from inside of China if they are coming from high-risk areas, and that there is no official policy in place regarding the need to wear electronic bracelets.

To read more about Covid-19 in China, check our articles here.

By Manya Koetse
With contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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