tudents at a university in Henan province are feeling rather anxious about an unusual school assignment asking them to gain hundreds of friends on WeChat in just a few short weeks or risk failing their class.
The students at the Henan University of Economics and Law are enrolled in a course on new media. 30 percent of their grade in this course will be decided by their friend count on WeChat. 1,001 new friends will grant them a passing grade on the assignment. 1,667 new friends will give them a perfect score.
On a class WeChat group, the students must describe how they managed to add each new friend. They have two weeks to complete the assignment.
Faced with the prospect of convincing hundreds of people to friend them on WeChat, some students are freaking out and have gone to the media to complain about the assignment. In a Pear Video report, one student says that after years of using WeChat he has a mere 100 friends and doesn’t know he’ll manage to increase that number tenfold.
Meanwhile, a teacher for the department has defended the assignment, explaining that students need to learn to expand their social network and engage in social media in order to find jobs in online media. After all, what is social media but a place for making lots and lots of fake friends?