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Not Good Enough: Spring Festival Dinner Break-Up Goes Viral

One Shanghai girl was so disappointed about what her boyfriend’s parents served her for Chinese New Year, that she ended her relationship because of it.

Manya Koetse

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One Shanghai girl was so disappointed about what her boyfriend’s parents served her for Chinese New Year, that she ended her relationship because of it. The story has gone viral on Chinese social media, reinforcing the ‘demanding leftover woman’ media cliché.

As first exposed on the Weibo page of online network   KDSlife, one Shanghai girl broke up with her boyfriend after seeing what his parents put on the table for Chinese New Year. The 26-year-old woman, who says to work in HR in a foreign company, joined her boyfriend to celebrate Spring Festival in his hometown in China’s southeastern province Jiangxi.

On a Chinese online community message board (liba.com) she posted:

“I want to break up – I am a pure Shanghainese, born in 1988, I look normal, and work in a foreign company’s HR department. My dad is retired after working at a state-owned enterprise, my mum is a teacher and will retire in two years. Our living standard is pretty good. I’ve been seeing this guy for a year, and he’s not from Shanghai. He’s a good worker and I like his looks, but since his family’s not well off, he won’t be able to buy a house for the coming years. My parents really disliked me going out with someone from another place, especially because he’s quite poor – that’s what my mum said. After all, parents only want the best for their own daughter. I’m also a bit shaken over this, especially since I joined my boyfriend for Chinese New Year this year after he had asked me over and over to come with him. If I wouldn’t have gone, I wouldn’t have known, but now that I went I was really shocked. This is what was first put on the table for us to eat when we arrived today…”

This is a screenshot of her post and the picture of the dinner she posted:
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According to an update by the woman that was also published on the KDS Weibo account, she indeed broke up with her boyfriend after dinner and immediately planned to go back to Shanghai. As she could not get a ticket straight away, she had to wait until the next morning before she could take the train.

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The post has caused quite some consternation on various Chinese social media sites, where thousands of netizens collectively share their opinion on the matter. Some threads on the issue, like the one on the KDS Weibo page, have attracted up to 97000 comments.

One netizen has changed the colors in the picture, making the food look better than in the picture posted by the girl:

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“There is fish and there is meat, your mother-in-law must have really done her best for this,” one netizen comments. “What a bitch,” another netizen says: “You don’t need your parents to fall in love with a guy. And that you immediately break up over his family’s living conditions is deplorable.”

In the same row of comments, one Weibo user says: “This looks like a good way to receive your guests for the countryside. Show those people some respect.” Another netizen wonders: “How can you work in HR when your EQ is so low?”

Amongst the many comments on this viral story, most netizens seem to agree that it is better when the families of a couple are well-matched (门当户对), but that you should always show respect to your partner and their parents. Virtually all netizens say that the girl has low moral standards for leaving her boyfriend after their first family dinner, and feel bad for him and his parents, who worked hard to put a Chinese New Year meal on the table.

The ‘leftover women’ of China have been a hot topic in the media for years. Young women, mostly from urban areas with a good job and high education and still unmarried at 26 are often labeled ‘leftover women’. They are often portrayed as demanding and materialistic in Chinese media.

“I don’t know if you noticed, but there are all wooden chopsticks on the table,” one Weibo user comments: “The only steel ones are those in her bowl, because they wanted her to have the best ones. Argh, I really cannot stand this!”

“Actually, I can understand this girl,” another person says: “But it is too impolite to leave before the New Year celebrations are over. They treat you as an honored guest, and you don’t even show them a bit of respect.”

By Manya Koetse

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

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Tuno

    February 10, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Thank goodness my loving wife has never made such demands.

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China Digital

Exclusive QR Code-Based Service Under Fire: The 3 Major Downsides to Contactless Ordering

Self-service ordering is the norm in many restaurants across China, but its benefits do not always outweigh the downsides.

Manya Koetse

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QR code-based ordering is the new normal in Chinese restaurants, but contactless ordering also comes with major downsides. In a recent People’s Daily article, consumers’ rights expert Chen Yinjiang argues that contactless ordering can’t be the sole service option offered by businesses.

Along with China’s rapid digitalization, QR code-based ordering has become the norm for many restaurants across the country. Although many see QR code-based self-service – from waiting in line to ordering and paying – as a convenience that also saves the restaurant costs on staff, there are also downsides to these digital developments.

Contactless ordering is not just the new normal in many restaurants, it often also is the only way in which customers can order.

In a recent article published by Chinese state media outlet People’s Daily, the deputy secretary-general of China Consumer Protection Law Society, Chen Yinjiang (陈音江), argues that business owners in China should offer customers the choice, saying: “Consumers have the right to choose whether they want to order by scanning a code or order through a waiter. Businesses can’t just consider the costs without considering the customer experience – especially when they neglect the requirements of elderly consumers.”

Image via http://www.hnntv.cn/

On Chinese social media, the criticism of exclusive QR code-based service in restaurants has become a hot topic of discussion. The hashtag “People’s Daily Discusses QR Code-Based Ordering” (#人民日报谈扫码点餐#) received 280 million views on Weibo on Monday.

Both the People’s Daily article and the online discussions mention the following three major downsides to QR code-based ordering.

 
1. Missing the Communication with the Waiter

One downside to contactless ordering is that customers miss out on the experience of communicating their order directly with the restaurant staff.

One reason why people would prefer to place their order directly with the waiter is that it gives them an opportunity to inquire about the menu, get advice on the best choice to make, and to communicate any special dietary wishes and preferences.

But another reason is simply that talking to restaurant staff is part of the dining out experience, with self-service ordering being a rather bleak substitute for those people who would actually like to have some more human interaction when they go out for food.

“If a restaurant only lets people order through smartphone and don’t offer a menu, the entire sense of ritual [of eating out] is gone,” one person comments, with others agreeing: “Ordering food is part of the dining culture.”

 
2. Leaving the Non-Tech-Savvy Customers Behind

Contactless ordering is also a nuisance to the elderly and non-tech-savvy customers who struggle to scan a QR code and place an order. For them, the process of online ordering is not convenient or fast but actually makes their restaurant experience all the more difficult and complicated.

“We live in an aging society. We really need to have other ways of handling this for the future,” one popular comment on Weibo said.

Other commenters also indicate that even for people who are used to ordering online, the process can be a nuisance. When changing their mind about their order, or accidentally ordering a wrong item, the entire order is gone and the customer needs to start from scratch again. This makes the process far less convenient than ordering with a staff member.

 
3. Privacy and Spam Concerns

There are also those who find that QR-based ordering is an invasion of their privacy. Many restaurants require customers to register or to ‘follow’ them on WeChat or elsewhere before allowing contactless ordering.

This means that customers do not only give away some personal information stored in their app profile, it also means that it is easy for companies to keep on sending promotions and other information to their customers long after they have left their restaurants.

While this might be an efficient marketing strategy for businesses, many people see this as a major disadvantage to QR-based ordering, and this complaint is one of the most-discussed ones on Weibo.

“Contactless ordering is actually a good thing, it is the fact that you need to register or follow the company before you can place an order that’s the problem,” multiple commenters say.

“I just want to order food – why would you need my phone number for that? Why would I need to follow your account for that?”

Many commenters on Weibo indicate that if restaurants only offer QR code-based ordering, they would rather not eat there at all.

Despite the criticism on self-service ordering, it is also praised by many. The general consensus on Weibo seems to be that virtual ordering is great, but should not be the only way to order and that smartphones and tablets should never replace ‘old-fashioned’ menus and waiters.

By Manya Koetse

Featured image via http://dc.wio2o.com/new/diancan.php

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.

©2021 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

Viral Video Exposes Wuhan Canteen Kitchen Food Malpractices

Boots in the food bowl, meat from the floor: this Wuhan college canteen is making a food safety mess.

Manya Koetse

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A video that exposes the poor food hygiene inside the kitchen of a Wuhan college canteen has been making its rounds on Chinese social media these days.

The video shows how a kitchen staff member picks up meat from the floor to put back in the tray, and how another kitchen worker uses rain boots to ‘wash’ vegetables in a big bowl on the ground, while another person is smoking.

The video was reportedly shot by someone visiting the canteen of the Wuhan Donghu University (武汉东湖学院) and was posted on social media on November 7.

According to various news sources, including Toutiao News, the school has confirmed that the video was filmed in their canteen, stating that those responsible for the improper food handling practices have now been fired.

The Wuhan Donghu University also posted a statement on their Weibo account on November 8, saying it will strengthen the supervision of its canteen food handling practices.

“The students at this school will probably vomit once they see this footage,” some commenters on Weibo wrote.

Wuhan Donghu University is an undergraduate private higher education institution established in 2000. The school has approximately 16,000 full-time undergraduate students.

“I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” one popular comment said, receiving over 25,000 likes.

Students from other universities also expressed concerns over the food handling practices in their own canteens, while some said they felt nauseous for having had lunch at the Wuhan canteen in question.

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.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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