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Eating Melons

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Chī Guā | 吃瓜

Snacking on gossip (Source)

Consuming the latest gossip, from a distance. The latest news becomes "melons," which are then "eaten" by those following. , The phrase is akin to "sipping tea" in American parlance. As opposed to "[surround and watch]," which implies the application of scrutiny to events of public interest, "eating melons" connotes the private enjoyment of drama. The phrase has its roots in 2016, after digital citizens took to mocking


After tennis star Peng Shuai accused former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault in 2021, Weibo users adopted "eating melons" and "gigantic melon" as stand-ins for discussions about Peng's plight in a vain attempt to evade censors.

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