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Grandpa Picks up the Wrong Kid from School, Takes Him to Get Flu Vaccine

Even grandpa makes mistakes!

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The parents of a 6-year-old boy in Guiyang, Guizhou province, had the shock of their lives when they discovered their son Xiao Hongyu had been picked up from school by an elderly man on Friday afternoon.

The parents were told by their son’s school teacher that their son had been picked up by his alleged ‘grandfather.’ School security footage showed how an unknown grey-haired man had stepped inside the classroom on June 8, and took the boy outside with him.

Soon after, the desperate mother posted the security footage images on her WeChat ‘Moments’ account, asking people for help – fearing that her child had become the target of a child trafficker.

When one person, an old classmate of the mother, recognized her own father in the images, the case was soon solved; the older man was supposed to pick his grandson Xiao Hongrui up from school, but instead took Xiao Hongyu with him.

Xiao Hongyu had been ‘missing’ for a total of four hours, a time during which his temporary ‘grandfather’ had taken him along for food shopping, and even took the little boy to the hospital to get a flu vaccine.

During an interview at the local police office, the man’s son-in-law told reporters that grandpa had just come to visit from the countryside, and was not too familiar with his own grandson’s appearance. The fact that Xiao Hongyu and Xiao Hongrui look alike and have a similar voice, as well as name, also did not help, and the man mistakingly took the wrong kid home.

Meanwhile, the man’s real grandson, Xiao Hongrui, remained at school, waiting to be picked up.

According to various Chinese media reports, Xiao Hongyu did feel the situation was not right, and tried to tell the older man that he was not his grandson. But because the man suffers from hearing impairment, he did not hear the little boy’s questions and remarks.

The school teacher in charge told reporters that the unfortunate mistake also occurred because Xiao Hongyu told his teacher that the man was “grandpa” when they asked him who the man was.

Xiao Hongyu and his mum.

The topic became top trending on Sina Weibo on June 12. “In the eyes of a 6-year-old, every old man is a ‘grandpa,'” many people commented.

Although the majority of people find the situation humorous, there are also many netizens who feel the issue is no laughing matter, because it means abductors and child traffickers can easily pick a child up from school.

They blame the school for not checking the man’s status, the hospital for not checking the little boy’s identity, and the parents for not teaching their boy not to leave with strangers.

This is not the first time a story such as this makes headlines. In 2016, an American grandfather also took the wrong child home. In that case, the child, just like Xiao Hongyu, also confirmed to teachers that the man was his grandfather.

In the UK, in 2013, a grandfather also took the wrong child to a doctor’s appointment. The little girl’s mother later told reporters that it is “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

By Manya Koetse


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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 Local News

Photo of Grey-Haired Post-80s Party Official Goes Viral on Weibo

It started as a joke, now the man is praised for his hard work.

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A Party official from Chuxiong country, Yunnan, has become the talk of the day on Chinese social media, after his photo was posted online by the local organizational department on November 15. His photo and short biography were posted as part of an introduction of local officials and their responsibilities.

The photo of the man, a local Party committee secretary named Li Zhongkai (李忠凯), would normally have never been noteworthy. The fact that the information with it said that Li was born in August of 1980 is what caught the attention of netizens, with many people thinking the grey-haired man looks much older than 38, and some even doubting his age.

According to his bio description, Li is a Chinese Communist Party member who started working at the end of 1999. He is now a Party secretary in Chuxiong’s Wanbi town, various Chinese media sources write, responsible for poverty alleviation, relocation of households, and fulfilling an important role at the time of the landslides in Yunnan. In 2018, he was praised for his service excellence by the local county.

Chinese media outlet The Paper writes that it has been verified that the photo is indeed the 38-year-old Li, and that a co-worker told media that Li’s workload is heavy.

A WeChat video in which Li was interviewed earlier this year, in September, shows the man still had black hair at the time.

Although many joked about the man, there are now also more serious comments. “Working at the grassroots level is really tough,” many commenters write. “If you’d tell me he was 60, I’d believe it.”

There are also those giving the man some advice on his appearance: “Just lose some weight and exercise, that will make you look younger.”

Li spoke to reporters, saying he was “surprised” about his photo going viral, and also explaining that his work was not easy, as many places in the county are remote and require him to travel long hours.

The Party official has now become popular on Weibo, where some encourage him to open a Weibo account to share more about the work he does in the county.

“Brother, please take care of yourself,” some commenters say: “You look like you’re over 50.”

By Manya Koetse, with contributions from Miranda Barnes

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©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Health & Environment

Chengdu Bans 22 Dog Breeds – Owners Need to Find a “New Home” for Their Pet

What breed is that doggy in the window? Chengdu bans 22 breeds in the city’s big districts.

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The ban on 22 dog breeds in the city of Chengdu, including the common Chinese rural dog, has sparked anger among many Chinese netizens on social media.

Starting from November 16, the city of Chengdu will ban a total of 22 dog breeds in several restricted areas in the city, which includes major Chengdu districts such as Wuhou, Chenghua, Jinniu, and Jinjiang.

The banned breeds are mostly larger dogs, or those known for their sometimes aggressive nature. The banned dogs breeds include the German Shepherd, Staffordshite Terrier, Mastiff, Bull Terrier and Pitbull Terrier, Akita, Newfoundland, Great Dance, and others (see full list here). The list also includes the common Chinese rural dog.

The hashtag “Chengdu Cleans Up Dogs” (#成都清理禁养犬#) had over 330 million views on Weibo at time of writing, making it the top trending topic of the day.

Pet owners are devastated about the ban on 22 dog breeds in Chengdu.

Earlier this week, Chengdu Expat already wrote about the new measures, which reportedly are implemented to “create a civilized and hygienic environment,” and to push pet owners to register their dogs.

GoChengdu also warned pet owners that if they live in a restricted area and their dog belongs to the banned breeds, they need to find a new home for it (in an unrestricted area) before November 16.

Chengdu Expat also recommends pet owners to make sure their dogs have the right vaccinations, and to keep their pet passports with them at all times.

On Weibo, many netizens are dismayed with the recent measures. “They shouldn’t ban the dogs, they should educate pet owners,” many commenters say.

There are also commenters, however, who say they support the new crackdown on bigger dog breeds, saying it protects people and makes the city a safer place.

The past year has seen many incidents with dogs making headlines in China. In late October, two incident of (unleashed) dogs attacking people in the streets, leading to serious injuries, went viral on Chinese social media – also leading to more people calling for better dog regulations in China.

In the city of Wenshan, dog owners were recently banned from walking their dogs on the street between 7am and 10pm each day, and Hangzhou has also implemented new measures to “clean up uncivilised dog-keeping behaviour”

One of the most discussed things within this topic is the Chengdu ban on the Chinese common dog, that is listed with the other 21 banned breeds. “We’re not even allowed to raise our own Chinese dogs!”, many say: “What did the common Chinese dog ever do wrong?”

“Today is a sad day,” one Weibo user wrote: “Reading about the Chinese rural dog becoming a banned dog makes me cry.”

Other netizens are also emotional about the new measures, writing: “They are basically asking us to ‘dispose of’ our own family members.”

By Manya Koetse

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

©2018 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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