2014 chinaSMACK Year in Review

2014 chinaSMACK Year in Review

And so another calendar year draws to an end…

2014’s Top 10 Most Popular Articles

Below are the translation articles chinaSMACK published in 2014 that received the most pageviews over the past year. Combined, they accounted for approximately 9% of our total pageviews over the past year. It may be easy to speculate why some got so much attention while others may simply be headscratchers and testaments to the whimsy of what goes “viral” on the internet.

1. Shanghai Girl Broadcasts Suicide on Instagram, Reactions


2. “Hong Kong Elementary School Admissions Test Question #21″

Hong Kong Elementary School First Grade Admissions Test question: What parking space number is the car parked in?

3. Chinese Parents Abandon Children at Guangzhou Baby Hatch

Two women are send a baby to Baby Island.

4. “Wife’s Memory” Korean Web Comic Viral with Chinese Netizens

"Wife's Memory" Korean web comic.

5. Chinese Girl Bludgeoned to Death in Shandong McDonald’s

The body of a young girl who was bludgeoned to death with a metal pole inside a McDonald's in Zhaoyuan city Shandong province, China.

6. Chinese Man’s Life with Beautiful Ukrainian Wife Envied


7. 15 Chinese Artifacts That Will Change How You Look at China


8. Japan Breast Fondling Charity Fundraiser, Chinese Reactions

Japanese AV idols (porn actresses) solicit donations for an AIDS charity by offering to let donors touch their breasts.

9. “But You Didn’t” Poem Translated & Illustrated by Chinese Netizen

"But You Didn't" poem, translated and illustrated in Chinese.

10. Cheating Wife Murder Mystery Photo Scares Chinese Netizens

A husband took this photo of his wife and then killed her. Why?

Of the above ten articles, the gruesome murder of a female diner at a Shandong McDonald’s was arguably the biggest “news” story, an incident that prompted national public discourse in China about not only the Church of Almighty God involved but about relgiious cults in general.

See also the most popular articles by number of comments.

Notable 2014 chinaSMACK Articles by Theme

There’s always some significance to be divined from each article chinaSMACK puts out. If it isn’t the “story” itself, it’s often in the netizen reactions, and the significance to be gleamed is often different for different people, depending not only on our familiarity with China, Chinese society, and Chinese internet culture but also our own subjective interests.

A lot of stories were translated over the past year. Here, we’ve organized a small fraction of them into some themes. Some are specific to the year’s events and incidents, while others reflect broader, on-going trends and issues that weigh on or even define the lives of many Chinese netizens. Some are connected and even shared with the world, while others are domestic and intimately their own.

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These are of course far from the only “notable” articles of the past year, but in grouping these, whether loosely or tightly, perhaps a larger or even different picture emerges, providing a more sophisticated appreciation of the modern “Chinese” zeitgeist, in all its diversity and plurality.

Cracking Down


Japanese fans clean up their section after World Cup match

2014 Brazil World Cup

Malaysia Airlines

A dog peddler is lifting up a dog with a fork.

Animal Cruelty and Activism

Hong Kong and Taiwan

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Foreign Television Entertainment

A group of middle aged women are dancing on the freeway.

Generation Gaps

Social Aspirations and Pressures

Long lines at the 2014 Spring Henan province job fair.


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Facing History

State Propaganda



Heroes Both Ordinary and Extraordinary

Strange and Silly

(too many to list, but here are two of our favorites)

Bars/railings installed on school desks at a primary school in Wuhan, China help students develop good habits and discourage the development of myopia near-sightedness.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage in 2014! If our translations of trending Chinese internet content were useful to you and provided you insights into this enormous country, we’d love to cover more in 2015 and we’ll need the your help to do so. Become a patron of our editorial mission and independence. Thank you and have a Happy New Year!
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Amused

    That is a depressing list of shit right there. I’m sure if you accumulated ANY countries dirty laundry for a year it would be ugly, but STILL…

  • mr.wiener

    Have a happy and safe new year everyone.

    • Zappa Frank

      I was about to write this post myself. Happy new year

    • Amused

      Happy New Year man

    • Alphy

      Happy New Year!

    • KamikaziPilot

      Chhheeeeeeeeeeeeeee-Huuuuuuuuuuuuuu. I made it through another year. Hopefully we’re all a year wiser and more mature (I’m looking at you Stephan)

    • Shinnie-Shin

      Happy new year ^^

  • Stefan
    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      lol, did u make these?

    • biggj

      hahaha, super funny man. :)

    • Dolph Grunt

      Really funny!

      You forgot “The problem in China is too many people.” Which will be the reasoning you hear from everyone in China (especially Shanghai) regarding the New Year’s stampede.

    • ClausRasmussen
    • He Who Be Free

      That’s how they rock it. Gormless glasses, the finger salute, and the general idiocy.

      I lie: 1-10 of my students have been smart, independent, and forward think. Miss ’em.

    • Zappa Frank

      Funny is funny. But on the otherside I would like to know how many of us can speak Chinese better than the English in the pictures.

      • donscarletti

        One is a literal translation of 好好学习,天天向上. So I assume at least someone knows a bit of Chinese.

      • 宋易

        These captions aren’t making fun of poor English. Some of the humor lies in how silly the English sounds, but most teachers are sympathetic to that. Its funny to me for two reasons: 1. the lame things the students want to say (yeah, foreigners have probably never heard of noodles so we should tell them, and my hobby is sleeping, because sleeping isn’t something I do because its a physiological necessity, its something I do because it enriches my life and fascinates me… right) and 2. these phrases are consistent and frequent across students everywhere in China.

        Moreover, they often have learned the correct way to speak some of these phrases, but they say it incorrectly anyway. How many classes have I said “You shouldn’t say “no why,” you sound like a 2 year old. You should say “no….” and the class says “reason!” –A lot. They know the right way to say it, they just choose not to.

        And what this all adds up to is, Chinese university students are generally very lazy, particularly when it comes to English. From what I understand talking to Chinese teachers, it carries over into other subjects too. And that’s why these memes are funny.

    • 宋易

      Where’d you get the photo of this girl? It’s an absolutely perfect Chinese student stereotype… iphone, peace sign, over-sized frames with no lenses, head cocked to the side, bangs… I love it. This girl is somewhere in China right now still being this.

  • mr.wiener


  • KamikaziPilot

    Oh cmon, part of the reason for a lot of the horrible news is because China does have 1/5 of the world’s population. With that many people you’re bound to have crazy stories no matter what year. Per capita, I’d bet alot of places have worse news: just think of the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America. It’s not like China is some 3rd world shithole despite what some will have you believe. I consider China 2nd world overall, the biggest cities approaching developed status. It has problems for sure, but it’s hardly the worst place on earth.

    • biggj

      Yeah you’re right, you dig enough dirt from any country and it would make them seem fucked up.

    • David

      I guess I am still surprised because in most countries where have some of the technological achievements of China (even when they are stolen) the general population is better. I mean China is not Egypt or El Salvador.

      • KamikaziPilot

        So you’re saying that most countries that are on a similar socioeconomic level that China is would have a population that has better morals/ethics? I’m not sure, that would be kind of hard to measure but I do think the richer a country, the more time it has to devote to humanitarian and social issues rather than basic survival issues.

        • David

          Not morals or ethics, that can be measured, but it is not my area of social science. I mean has taken advantages of better technologies to change their own cultural behaviors to be more welcoming, and certainly their government is easier to navigate. I mean doing almost anything in China can be incredibly frustrating and not just for foreigners but for native Chinese people too. Anyway, I am a historian not a sociologist, or anthropologist, just a comment.

  • Marcus Black

    A bunch of people didn’t even make it into 2015. They got trampled in Shanghai. This is exactly one of the reasons I am strongly against the celebrity culture.

  • Dolph Grunt

    I sincerely hope none of you were at the Bund for New Years. I just read the news.

  • donscarletti

    What a relief to not see a ‘The problem with “laowai” foreign males’ story.

    Has it been a whole year? How time flies.

  • john

    Of course you can’t, the world are so prejudice toward China, so they work so hard to dig up all the dirt about China which I am sure you could dig it up from any country but they try anywhere else.

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