"Ugly Phone Case Challenge" Sweeps Chinese Social Media

In this trend what took the Chinese web by storm is not a display of beauty, but instead, of utter ugliness.

A rather unconventional trend is gaining momentum on Xiaohongshu, China's Instagram-like social media - the 'Ugly Phone Case Challenge'.

This bizarre challenge involves college students buying the most hideous phone cases they can find for cheap on e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Pinduoduo, and gifting them to their dormmates. 

Many of the phone cases in this challenge feature elements of the infamous tuwei 土味 style.

Loosely translated as "tacky", this maximalist aesthetic is mostly adopted by less educated Chinese citizens, normally living in the countryside.

The phenomenon is made possible by to the almost non-existent cost of these items. Phone cases can be bought on Chinese e-commerce platforms like Taobao and Pinduoduo for as little as 2 or 3 RMB (about 0.3 USD).