The 30-year-old designer from Weifang, Shandong province, spent three days making a figure of Mickey Mouse.
A video of him putting the artwork together has been viewed more than 100 million times online.
Leng said in the video: “Give shells a new lease on life. Salute to the Year of the Rat,” adding that he decided to make the figure in an attempt to beat boredom.
He was unable to meet friends over Spring Festival due to the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, but chose to share his work with millions of netizens on local social media platforms such as Sina Weibo and Douyin.
Inspired by his efforts, many kindergarten students have been asked by their teachers to use shells to create such figures.
Leng is not the only one to come up with creative ways to pass the time during the outbreak.
Cheng Dadu, from Xi’an, Shaanxi province, who enjoys running marathons, posted footage on Weibo of himself running barefoot for 10 hours in his living room.
Since Jan 30, he has run about 100km every day indoors.
“Staying at home and keeping healthy are the best ways to fight the virus,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the hashtag “Innovative ways to combat boredom at home” had been viewed more than 300 million times on Weibo.
As people have had limited contact with friends and neighbours, the use of cyberspace has surged.
As former Morgan Stanley employee Duncan Clark wrote in his book Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, “SARS validated digital mobile telephony and the Internet, and so came to represent the turning point when the Internet emerged as a truly mass medium in China.”
Industry experts estimate that the ongoing outbreak will result in another Internet boom.
On Feb 3, at a news conference on the economic impact of the outbreak, Lian Weiliang, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said, “Online entertainment and shopping are still very active.”
Wang Jianhui, a media and Internet analyst at Cinda Securities, said, “During the outbreak, the online entertainment sector ... dominated by games and streaming services ... has seen a welcome boom.”
In addition to the lockdown in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, the central government has imposed preventive measures in metropolitan areas such as Beijing and Shanghai as well as other populous areas. Public celebrations nationwide have also been cancelled. — China Daily/ANN
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