SCMP.com's top 10 most popular China stories of 2013
For China, it was President Xi Jinping's first year as leader – and the introduction of a far-reaching crackdown on corruption in his party. But for readers of SCMP.com, it was the more unusual stories that proved most popular. Here, we look at the top 10 most viewed stories of 2013.
Some of the most-read stories of 2013 were about Chinese tourists and their increasingly bad reputation around the world. Amy Li's piece exploring the reasons behind all the bad press received 236,294 page views, 5,000 Facebook likes and 477 tweets.
Chinese officials were never more in the spotlight than in 2013, the year new president Xi Jinping launched a major graft crackdown. Chris Luo's story about a Zhejiang entrepreneur who offered a senior official 200,000 yuan to swim in a polluted river for 20 minutes was the second most popular China story. It was viewed 219,036 times, received 1,000 Facebook likes and was tweeted 212 times.
China's food scandals provided more grim reading in 2013 – and this story about rat meat being sold as lamb in Shanghai proved a must-read for visitors to the site. It was viewed 160,502 times, liked 3,300 times on Facebook and tweeted 330 times.
It wasn't all bad news for China this year as science took centre stage with the moon rover landing and this, the news that scientists were confident they would be first in developing an invisibility cloak. Viewed 151,154 times, the article received 1,300 Facebook likes and was tweeted 253 times.
A disturbing photograph of a girl kneeling and begging for money on the streets of Nanjing touched a nerve with readers, who viewed the article 144,538 times.
Model and singer Mo Lulu hit the headlines when she accepted 100,000 yuan to breastfeed a businessman during a group dinner in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. The article was viewed 104,700 times, received 263 Facebook likes and was tweeted 64 times.
As the daughter of one of Asia's wealthiest men, you might be forgiven for thinking she has it all. But our story about Zong Fuli's confession that she had never had a boyfriend proved that money can't buy you love. The article was viewed 94,920 times, received 1,000 likes and was tweeted 53 times.
The story of a man who attempted to smuggle his pet turtle through security in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by hiding it in a KFC hamburger was a hit with readers who viewed the article 88,592 times, liked it 9,400 times on Facebook and tweeted it 914 times.
The furniture store became popular among the Chinese in 2013 by offering customers more than the usual shopping experience. Chinese patrons made themselves at home by sleeping on sofas and beds, and even taking picnics to the store. Our article proved just as popular with 76,368 page views, 3,800 Facebook likes and 295 tweets.
Mimi Lau's investigation into mainland China's seedy sex trade exposed the plight of 20 million working girls. The article was viewed 70,759 times.