Connect with us

China Local News

From Superschool to Super Cool: Leaving ‘Beida’ to Become a Technician

Hao Zhou has become a trending topic on Chinese social media as a ‘rebel’ against Chinese conformity when it comes down to the educational system; instead of continuing his academic career at Beida, he chose to be a technician.

Avatar

Published

on

Trending on Sina Weibo today is the story of Hao Zhou, a young man who chose to be technician over studying at Peking University, one of the most renowned universities in China better known as ‘Beida’.

Comparable to Cambridge in the UK or Harvard in the US, Peking University is one of the top universities in China. For most Chinese, studying at Peking University is an unattainable dream. It makes the story of Hao Zhou (周浩) a striking one; he gave up his place at the famous university in order to be a technician. After several Chinese media brought the story, it turned into a trending topic on Weibo. Netizens have sketched his story as one of a young man who followed his heart and dropped his chance of being a Peking University graduate in order to do what he really wants.

Many view Hao’s choice as a challenge to Chinese ruling ideals and concepts of what the right educational path is. Studying in a top university is a dream for everyone: the student, the teacher and the parents. It is generally believed that a Peking University certificate is the guarantee for a respectable career, good earnings and a happy future.

Discussions have flared up on Sina Weibo on whether one should do what is deemed to be ‘good’ by society and family, or choosing one’s own path and doing what one really likes. Many netizens speak out against Hao’s action, believing that he is still too young to tell what is really right or wrong. On the other hand, many also support Hao and think his decision is an act of bravery and self-confidence: he knows what he likes and what he is doing, making him responsible for his own future. Other views suggest that more young people should reexamine the value of China’s current education in favor of discovering their own passions and chasing their own dreams: exam results and graduation certificates should not be sole factors in determining ‘success’.

Over recent years, China’s education system has been criticized for its emphasis on tests and grades. As CNN’s Yong Zhao writes: “One study shows that fewer than 10% of Chinese graduates would be qualified to work in a foreign company in occupations such as engineering, finance and accounting,” adding that: “The biggest price China has paid is the loss of creative talents. Its education system stifles creativity, suppresses individuality and induces conformity by forcing all children to compete for better test outcomes in a narrow set of subjects.”

Hao, ‘rebel’ against conformity, has stated that he has “no regret whatsoever” over the choice he has made.

 

– by Fan Bai & Manya Koetse 

 

About the author: Fan Bai is a freelance translator and writer. Born and raised in China, she is now based in the UK.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

China Local News

Online Anger over Inappropriate Toast by Dutch Watch Brand Executive at Chinese Dinner Party

This is how NOT to do a toast in Dutch!

Manya Koetse

Published

on

Instead of teaching guests at a Chinese dinner party how to say “cheers” in Dutch, this viral video shows how the Chinese are told to join in saying “dikke lul,” the Dutch expression for “big d*ck.”

UPDATE: FYI – the videos relating to this incident have been taken offline after the publication of this article. There are no active video links in this article.

The Amsterdam-based watch & jewelry brand Rosefield has recently come under fire within the Chinese community in the Netherlands after a video went viral showing Rosefield’s CEO and its Head of Sourcing proposing an unusual toast at a Chinese dinner party.

The video, that was viewed over 173,000 times on Dutch site Dumpert.nl, shows a woman in a white blouse bringing out a toast, saying:

In Dutch, we say ‘ganbei’ or ‘cheers’ in this way, and it would be nice if you all can say the same, we say: ‘dikke lul.‘”

The people at the table then proceed to toast saying “Dikke lul” – which, in fact, is not the Dutch word for ‘cheers’ but for ‘big dick,’ something that the Chinese people at the table are seemingly not aware of.

On WeChat, Chinese-language newspaper Asian News (华侨新天地) reported about the video and identified the Dutch woman and man at the table as the CPO and CEO of Rosefield Watches, a fast-growing luxury brand that is active in various countries.

Asian News describes the incident as a way of “ridiculing Chinese friends,” and writes it has triggered anger online.

Asian News (华侨新天地) is a Chinese language newspaper founded in 1992. It is mainly distributed in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Its WeChat account has some 120,200 followers, and the post on the ‘cheers’ video was among its most-well read on WeChat this week.

The blog post noted that ever since the ‘dikke lul’ video has gone viral in the Netherlands, it has become one of the first results showing up when searching for the vulgar expression ‘dikke lul’ on Google.

Although it is not clear where the video was filmed and how it ended up on short video site Dumpert, it is rumored in WeChat groups that it was recorded during the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair earlier this month, and that the Chinese guests are business relations of the Dutch brand (unconfirmed).

The comment section on the Dumpert site shows that although some Dutch commenters think the video is funny, there are many who find it “vulgar,” “rude,” and “distasteful.”

Although many (overseas) Chinese expressed anger in various WeChat groups – some expressing regret over a Rosefield watch they recently purchased – the Asia News blog does remind readers that we do not know the context of the video, and whether or not there was a certain pretext or common understanding to the joke.

Nevertheless, the blog states, this kind of behavior is not professional and if a company such as Rosefield wants to earn money in China, “it should also respect Chinese culture and people.”

Although there have been ample discussions about the controversial video on Wechat, there are no online discussions about this issue on Weibo at the time of writing.

Over the past year, many foreign brands became a focus for controversy in China.

In November of 2018, Italian fashion house D&G faced consumer outrage and backlash on Chinese social media for a video that was deemed ‘racist’ to China and for insulting remarks about Chinese people allegedly made by designer Stefano Gabbana.

Swiss investment bank UBS sparked controversy in June for a column which mentioned “Chinese pigs.”

Over this summer, various foreign companies apologized to China for listing ‘Hong Kong’ as a separate country or region on its websites and/or t-shirts.

Still curious about how to actually say ‘cheers’ in Dutch? It’s ‘proost’ and this is how you pronounce it correctly.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

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

Continue Reading

China Food & Drinks

This Is the BBQ Restaurant Jack Ma Visited in Zhengzhou

Jack Ma’s late-night snack means overnight success for this Zhengzhou skewer place.

Manya Koetse

Published

on

Whatever Jack Ma does or says makes headlines in China. The superstar Alibaba founder has especially been a topic of discussion over the past week since his meeting with Tesla’s Elon Musk at the World AI Conference in Shanghai, where the two billionaires had a discussion about the risks and rewards of AI development.

But on social media platform Weibo, Chinese netizens have not just been discussing what Jack Ma has been saying over the past few days – what he has been eating has also become a topic that has attracted thousands of views and comments this week.

A BBQ skewer restaurant in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, gained overnight fame after a visit from the business magnate and his group. The Alibaba delegation visited Zhengzhou for a meeting concerning a strategic partnership between Alibaba and the local government.

Jack Ma visited the barbecue skewer restaurant around one o’clock in the morning, and was photographed and filmed by many people standing around.

Ma visited Dehua Pedestrian Street and Zhengdong New Area before arriving at the Zheng Xiwang restaurant. Ma was with a small group of people and spent a total of 700 yuan (around 100 US dollars).

Grilled skewers are popular all across China, but especially in the Zhengzhou region, which is also nicknamed the “holy land of skewers.”

Image via Dianping.com.

The Zheng Xiwang restaurant visited by Ma was founded in 1991 – although it was just a street stall at the time – and has been thriving ever since.

Besides skewers, Jack Ma allegedly ordered stir-fried Hunan prawns and spicy clams.

As Ma’s visit to Zhengzhou and the restaurant has gone viral, some social media users write that they have also visited the restaurant immediately after, sharing photos and their receipts as proof.

Weibo user Jia Chengjun (@贾成军) from Henan shared photos of people lining up to get a table at the popular restaurant.

According to various reports on Weibo, the restaurant’s owner initially offered Jack Ma the dinner for free, but the billionaire refused and paid anyway. His payment method will not come as a surprise; he paid with Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay.

“Why would you offer him a free meal anyway?” some netizens wondered: “He surely has more money than you!”

Curious to try the same food as Ma? Zheng Xi Wang is located at the intersection of Fuyuan Street and Yingxie Street in Zhengzhou (福元路与英协路交叉口向西160米路北(银基王朝南门)).

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

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

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Support What’s on Weibo

If you enjoy What’s on Weibo and support the way we report the latest trends in China, you could consider becoming a What's on Weibo patron:
Donate

Facebook

Instagram

Advertisement

Contribute

Got any tips? Suggestions? Or want to become a contributor? Email us as at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Popular Reads