Xi Jinping wants you to go home for dinner, says the Communist Party’s official magazine, borrowing a popular internet phrase originating from a Chinese World of Warcraft forum.

The magazine, which is run by the Party’s advertising department, posted an article with the headline “Xi Jinping says you should go home for dinner” on its WeChat account last Sunday. The article made it onto the top of that day’s WeChat public account readership rankings, according to Werank.cn.

A variation on the original meme: “Jia Junpeng (World of Warcraft character) your mom is calling you home for dinner!” Photo: Baidu Images.

The meme “so-and-so says you should go home for dinner” emerged from Baidu’s popular Tieba forums, which have also spawned other popular expressions. One example is “diaosi”, which means male pubic hair, and – in colloquial Chinese – refers to “losers” who will never get anywhere in life.

Although the “go home for dinner” meme went viral in 2009, the Communist Party adopted the phrase as a headline in an effort to liven up its often dry talking points. The article collated quotes from President Xi Jinping about governance style, family, and education.

A variation on the original meme: “Jia Junpeng (World of Warcraft character) your mom is calling you home for dinner!” Photo: Baidu Images.

The article quoted a 2013 speech given by Xi at the Discipline Commission, the body responsible for China’s anti-corruption crackdown. In it, Xi espouses traditional Chinese family values and extends the idea towards society and governance.

“You should go to less business meetings and go home for dinner more,” he said.

He linked the idea of family values to China’s anti-corruption drive in another quote from 2016 addressing the Discipline Commission, saying that members should take responsibility to ensure they – and their families – are clean and honest.

Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.