End of the World: China’s social media’s most buzzed topics
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
The top 10 trending topics on Sina Weibo in months leading up to the end of the World.
Reuters report released in May found Chinese to be the most likely to believe in the Mayan apocalyptic predictions.
We’ve handpicked the 10 most discussed news and topics on Chinese most popular social network Sina Weibo, and delivered them to you in the right here:
1) THE MOVIE
Remember ‘2012’? The movie was #1 in the box office in China back in 2009 and one of the first Hollywood blockbusters to portray the country in a positive light by turning the Chinese ark builders into ‘saviors of humanity‘.
Flattered Chinese viewers loved it at the time and are still actively commenting on it online in the build-up to apocalypse day.
2) TICKETS TO THE ARK
If you can’t create conversation, why not capitalize on an existing one? Sources report over 500 individual vendors selling Noah’s Ark tickets via Taobao, with the most successful selling over 20 thousands!
Tickets promise safety from the disaster and are selling for as little as USD $3. You can get yours here.
China’s entrepreneurial spirit skyrocketed in the past few months and innovators around the country created all sorts of new products to ensure their survival. Two of the top trending products on Weibo were this attempt to replicate Noah’s ark and this giant yellow ball.
Despite unsuccessful attempts to be sold to the government, these inventions received a lot of buzz on Chinese social networks and were even discussed by Western media.
4) THE WEATHER
The city of Shanghai experienced an atmospherically unusual phenomenon earlier this month, triggering an explosion of conversations on Sina Weibo. As you may imagine, general opinion suggested the apparent “Three Suns” were a sign of imminent apocalypse.
Scientists later attributed the strange sight to the arc of solar flares. Yet, the three suns made #2 trending topic of the day.
The rumour that Dec. 21st would mean the beginning of “three consecutive days of darkness” started spreading on Sina Weibo a few months ago, when 2 southwest China counties reported shortages of candles and matches.
6) GOVERNMENT POLICIES
The blackout topic was fervently discussed again in the past couple of days, due to police crackdown on Christian group Church of the Almighty God. The religious movement was found distributing pamphlets warning people on the absence of electricity, action which led to the arrest of around 500 people from the group. Unsurprisingly, the topic was blocked by the Great Firewall earlier today.
Coincidentally, on the same day of the Newton school mass shootings, mentally ill man attacked a primary school in Henan province and injured 23 children with a knife. The man claimed his reasons were connected to apocalypse day. Here‘s a few of the comments from Internet users.
7) HR POLICIES
Generous CEO recently published an office memo on his Weibo account encouraging the employees to spend their “final” days with their loved ones. The image went viral on the Chinese social network, sparking conversations on HR policies and employee rights. Even if it was just a publicity stunt, we’ve got to admit it was pretty funny.
8) THIS GUY
Master Yancan, Buddhist monk with over 4.5 mil fans on Sina Weibo became a recent sensation thanks to this viral video where he explains the secrets of the end of the world whilst being harassed by 2 monkeys.
See full video here.
Ultimately, besides fear, mockery or political opinions, business opportunities drove Chinese Internet users to discuss doomsday online.
One popular entrepreneur surfed the wave of pessimism and offered speculations on the Chinese stock market with “Will the Shanghai Index drop to 1,500 points?” and a small Honda dealership in Guangdong province tweeted “There are around 10 days left until the world ends! Which car do you want to take with you?”.
That’s a wrap!
With only 1 day left to the end of the World, we expect ‘2012’ and ‘end of the World’ to be hashtagged to infinity in the next 24 hours.
Will you surf the viral wave and use the trending topics in your own China social media strategy?