BEIJING—China has found a new domain over which it can claim sovereignty: hacking.
Earlier this month, Beijing set the world record for coughing, with nearly all 20.2 million of its citizens simultaneously hacking up a lung.
Beijing surpassed Industrial Revolution era London, which had held the previous record since 1802 and still holds the record for most hackers on a per capita basis. China’s record is just gross.
The PM2.5 Beijing Air Quality Current Reading by the American Embassy confirmed that the air that day was so bad people started taking up smoking to clear their lungs.
“Hey, at least cigarettes are filtered,” said one Beijinger who could not be identified because he was wearing a gas mask.
On the record-breaking day, the smog was so thick residents couldn’t even see Space from the Great Wall.
“Smog?” wrote Ministry of Affairs by Officials spokesman Huang Lei, who was unable to speak because he was wearing a scuba suit, “What smog?”
Although the government denied any involvement, China watchers were able to trace the source of the hacking directly back to state-owned steel factories on the outskirts of Beijing. Said one observer, “Whoever smelt it dealt it.”
The top story on Love the Leadership, Beijing’s only nightly news show, was of an astute shoplifter who took advantage of the smoggy situation by sneaking out of Wang’s House of Heavenly Air Filters under cover of particulate matter.
He was eventually arrested back at his pirated DVD shop in Wangfujing, but only because police mistook him for a dissident.
No one has seen him since. But then again, no one can see anything in Beijing these days.