5 min read

The Ice Cream That Never Melts

The Ice Cream That Never Melts

Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.

  • RADIICHINA.COM is now RADII.CO! Join us for our beta launch, where we're unveiling our updated site. You'll love all the features that make it interactive - infinite scroll, personalized feed and features made just for you!
  • Chinese consumers, who champion affordable frozen treats or ‘ice cream guardians,’ are at war with overpriced ice cream brands, which have been dubbed ‘ice cream assassins.’
  • “Nostalgia aside, my knowledge of Cantonese has helped me close deals at work. Now, when clients ask me if I can speak Cantonese, I say, ‘Mou man tai!’ with a cheesy smile.”
  • The New York Asian Film Festival is hosting in-person screenings again — just in time for its 20th anniversary. Here are 5 exciting Chinese titles to watch at the festival.
  • The timely collaboration between Coffee Chain M Stand and Puma serves to transport urban dwellers in China’s megacities to exotic beachside locations.
  • Netizens played the music video for the title song from Jay Chou’s upcoming album — ‘Greatest Works of Art’ — 5 million times in just 24 hours.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Chinese Netizens Pissed About Overpriced, Unmelting Ice Cream

Happening in tandem with China’s current heat wave, a hot topic has taken Chinese social media by storm: Absurdly steep price hikes in the ice cream market.

The hashtag ‘Why are pricey ice creams hard to sell?’ (#高价雪糕为什么卖不动了#) has gone viral on the microblogging platform Weibo and amassed a whopping 620 million views in just a few days. Hilarious videos and vignettes on the topic have circulated on Chinese social media, and users have expressed their frustration over the unreasonable prices.

“Any ice cream that is more than 3 RMB (about 0.44 USD) is considered expensive,” reads a popular comment. Another user, whose comment has gained more than 40,000 likes, has set the bar even lower, at a mere 2 RMB (0.29 USD).

The term xuegao cike (雪糕刺客), which literally means ‘ice cream assassin,’ is being used to describe ice cream that sits quietly in the back of supermarket freezers, enticing customers with its premium packaging and exotic flavors. However, when their prices are revealed at check-out counters, they metaphorically ‘kill’ consumers’ wallets.

Recent years have seen a proliferation of new ice cream brands and flavors in China. Last summer, for instance, viral ice cream treats shaped as iconic landmarks were sold at tourist spots as a tool to promote domestic tourism.

Civil Servant Uniforms Are The New ‘It’ Look in China

In the social media era, fashion trends come and go so quickly that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them. This is especially true in China, which sees an equal mix of local subcultures, like the maximalist ‘too cool movement,’ and imported aesthetics, such as the one revolving around Y2K nostalgia.

Recent weeks have seen the rise of an unexpected fad dubbed ‘civil servant chic’ or ‘bureaucrat style’ (厅局风, tingju feng or 厅里厅气, tingli tingqi). As its monikers imply, the trend revolves around the uniforms of public officials, especially those occupying higher ranks.

Pictures attached to the social media post that sparked the ‘civil servant chic’ trend. Image via Weibo

For those keen on replicating the look, these are your new wardrobe staples: A white shirt, black fitted trousers, a navy blue jacket, black leather shoes, a black bag, and — the cherry on top of the sundae — a Chinese Communist Party badge, which should be pinned on your lapel or shirt pocket.

The fashion trend in question possibly stems from a Douyin (China’s equivalent of TikTok) post by a user who goes by the handle @思以致胜. The viral post portrays a young man in modest office attire and has gotten 295,000 likes. Its caption, presumably directed at women, reads, “Do you really have to go after brand-conscious guys?!”

Two examples of ‘civil servant chic.’ Image via Xiaohongshu

Appreciative comments under the post range from, “You might not like this kind of party cadre, but I do,” to “The problem is this type of guy doesn’t like me.”

Since then, a hashtag for the unique fashion trend has gained more than 4.6 million views on the Chinese lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu. Netizens share pictures of their outfits and tutorials on achieving the perfect ‘civil servant look.’

  • China-based coffee lovers: A new partnership between Chinese coffee chain M Stand and German sports brand Puma means you’ll get to try a seasonal drink at M Stand’s 100 stores across China.
  • On July 6, Business Insider reported that Elon Musk fathered twins with Shivon Zilis, a top executive of his company Neuralink, in November 2021. Chinese netizens, who have always been interested in anything and everything Musk-related, were quick to pick up on the latest gossip — as expected. On July 7, a related hashtag went viral on the microblogging platform Weibo and had amassed over 62 million views at the time of writing.
  • Netizens played the music video for the title song from Jay Chou’s upcoming album — ‘Greatest Works of Art’ — 5 million times in just 24 hours.

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