China’s biggest social network, WeChat, has been bustling since the early morning on September 24 with users posting scores of messages in their feed requesting for a Chinese national flag from the WeChat official account. Some people took it further and asked WeChat for money, winning lottery numbers, a girlfriend or secrets for effective weight loss. The whole thing quickly turned into a meme which was unintentionally started by Tencent News.
In the run-up to the National Day when the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 70th birthday, Tencent News, the media branch of the Chinese tech giant, launched a promo mini-program that allowed users to show their love for their motherland by adding a Chinese flag, a number 70 or a full-on congratulations to their WeChat avatar.
Those users who were not aware of the mini-program took a shortcut and decided to ask WeChat directly to help them with adorning their pictures. Soon, the situation took an unexpected turn with some people starting to tag the People’s Bank of China with requests for a billion yuan, Apple, asking for a new iPhone, or even the real estate developer Vanke, hoping they could be granted a villa.
Naturally, the meme attracted a billow of interest to the original mini-program too. Over 225 million people used it as of time of posting, and it is reported that the onslaught of enthusiasts caused the Tencent News server to collapse for a short while. Tencent News have already confirmed that they did not expect that much interest for their project and are now working on optimizing their servers.