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Surround and watch

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围观 (wéiguān): surround and watch

“Cruel, inhumane surrounding and watching of the 楼主 lóuzhǔ (the person who made the first/original post or started a BBS topic).” (source unknown)

An invocation for a crowd to gather around someone or something, online or in the real world, and observe. It implies that an incident is receiving public scrutiny. The 2010 Southern Weekend article “Scrutiny is Power: How ‘Surrounding and Watching’ Has Changed China” (关注就是力量—围观改变中国) popularized this sense of the term. Journalist Xiao Shu writes, “What’s important was that public scrutiny was effective. They could no longer view it as being immaterial—they had to respond to the public scrutiny” (重要的是,围观起作用了,他们不能再视围观为无物,他们必须回应围观).

Sina Weibo features a surround and watch emoticon: 围观.gif


Kuerleilingjuli (@库尔勒零距离): On June 9th, Ms. Yang from Li city posted on Weibo pictures of a newly-installed self-service car wash equipment outside her residential home. The price for one wash is five yuan. The post spurred a large number of netizens to surround and watch. On the same day, a reporter also arrived on site to check out the situation. (June 9, 2015)