China This Week, Mar. 19-25

Want to know about the hottest trending topics in China, you won’t see on TV or newspapers? Follow the weekly updates from U.S.-China Perception Monitor, “China This Week”. We are providing you with the most talked-about topics, most interesting points and must-know information of Chinese culture and society.

1. Gone in the blink of an eye

With China’s slowing economy, luxury car sales suffered as many Chinese consumers decided a new Ferrari and Rolls-Royce could wait. However, that still didn’t stop Chinese buyers from buying 100 Maserati SUVs, priced at 999,800 yuan ($153,700) within 18 seconds. The cars were put up for sale on Tmall, Alibaba’s online shopping site. Maserati is one of the most expensive luxury cars in the world and despite being able to sell the 100 cars in less than half of a minute, luxury car companies expect overall sales to decrease in China this year.

Das Auto…wait a minute…

2. Jack Ma: business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist…painter?

That’s right. This week, Mainland China’s richest man, Jack Ma, who founded the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, earned HK$4.2 million in auction for a painting that he contributed towards. Ma collaborated with leading artist Zeng Fanzhi to paint Paradise. The selling made Ma one of China’s most successful living artists. The proceeds went to charity.

Ma And Zeng
Ma and Zeng with the painting: Paradise


3. China detained 20 people who published a letter that called for the resignation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The letter was actually published on Wujie News, a state-backed news website. The letter was quickly taken down by the website. Columnist Jia Jia is suspected to be involved with the letter and was one of those detained.

Jia Jia
Jia Jia

4. It seems that pharmaceutical crime in China happens more often than not. This was most apparent when a rabbit farmer in China discovered he was buying underpriced, illegal, and fake vaccines for his rabbits. More than 800 of the rabbits have died on the farmer’s homestead.

Oh the leporidae!

Local zoologists told the farmer, named Mr. Li, that the rabbits had died from a viral hemorrhagic disease caused by the expired vaccine. Mr. Li contacted the company, whose response was that the company did not make such a vaccine. He then reached out to the salesman who offered no answers and then, upon traveling to the address on the packaging, found that it was a residential address whose inhabitants had no knowledge of the vaccine company.

Unfortunately for Mr. Li (and his furry friends), the farmer had fallen for a scam which had disastrous effects for Mr. Li’s farm, especially the bunny apocalypse that ensued. Hopefully for the farm, they will be able to find a solution before the rabbits seek revenge:

Hippity hoppity, Easter’s on its way!
We’re going to need the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.