Focus topics

‘Green horse’

绿马 – lǜmǎ – “green horse”

What is the most popular animal in China these days? The green horse, of course! Confused? Here is the explanation straight from the horse’s mouth: 绿马 lǜmǎ – literally “green horse” – is a play on words based on the green Covid health code (健康码 jiànkāngmǎ “health code”), which you currently have to present every time you go for a ride in China. If this digital pass jumps to green (绿码 lǜmǎ “green code”) you can let your horses run free. Coincidentally, “green code” is pronounced the same as “green horse” (but written with different characters, of course). This has inspired the Internet community to this animal metaphor. You can check your status in the “health treasure” (健康宝 jiànkāngbǎo) of the social media app WeChat or in the “payment treasure” (支付宝 zhīfùbǎo) of Alibaba’s mobile payment app (these two are really called that, by the way!).

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