4.5 million netizens want to know: Where are you, MH370? #thisweekinweibo

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This week’s top topics on weibo have a sombre tone, as netizens join in collective mourning over the deepening mystery of Malaysian Airlines MH370.

With the plane missing, and Chinese nationals making up 154 of the 227 passengers, MH370 has been a hot topic on weibo, eliciting 4.5 million conversations.

People are discussing: 

  • Their hope for the passengers and crew’s safety
  • The reasons why MH370 has lost contact
  • Anger at Malaysia Airlines for delaying news of the disappearance for 5 hours after losing contact
  • Suggestions on protecting yourself in the event of an air crash 

1.Malaysia Airlines loses contact with plane #马航飞机失联#

A search and rescue operation is underway after Malaysia Airlines said a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on board went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 4.5million conversations.

2.USA earthquake #美国地震#

The US Geological Survey reported a 6.9 earthquake on California’s West Coast on March 10th. Most people said it wasn’t worth discussing (and yet, here it is).

3.Public holiday reform #调整休假啊制度#

The Mayor of Sanya, Yong Wang, has suggested adjusting China’s public holidays after experiencing too many visitors to Sanya (the “Hawaii of China”, an island province off China’s southern coast) during the so-called “golden holiday week”, which can refer to Chinese new year, or National Day on October 1. Wang suggested people have only one day off each week, and then have 4 days off together at the end of month. So far, the idea has been unpopular.

4.Blessing of Malaysia Airlne MH370 #祈福马航#

People hoping and praying for MH370’s safe return. Although religion is not commonplace in China, the idea of burning a candle and praying for someone is a common feature. Sina weibo even provides a candle emoticon to symbolise thoughts and prayers for those suffering.  

5.Who was your first celebrity crush? #你追的第一个明星是#

This topic asks people about their first celebrity crush. 

6.What was your first Korean film? #你看的第一部韩剧#

This topic asks people what was the first Korean film they saw. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, Korean pop culture has a huge influence on China’s youth. 

7.Whose photo is your wallpaper? #你的桌面是谁#

Our mobile phone and computer are extensions of ourselves, so whose photo is on yours? Most people said they share the photo of the people they like.

8.Juneyao Airline plane landed at an alternate airport #吉祥航空航班备降#

Juneyao Airline HO1253 should have flown to Beijing, but landed instead in Jinan, some 424 kilometres to the south. The reason for the redirection is not clear.

9.How long have you been single? #你已经单身多久了#

Mar.14th is White Valentine’s Day. Do you dare to tell people how long you have been single?

10.Students post dirty laundry to parents #大学生寄脏衣#

Deputy director of China Post, Liang Liu, said some university students post their dirty clothes home for their parents to wash. However, most netizens assured each other it wasn’t them; they washed their own clothes at university.

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