Tweeting like Trump becomes a big hit in China
One of the hottest trends in China during the recent Lunar New Year period had little to do with Chinese traditions or pop culture — it was about becoming United States President Donald Trump, at least on Twitter.
Through Jike, a smart phone app created by Shanghai Ruoyou Network Technology Co Ltd, Chinese netizens are able to create images of fake Twitter updates featuring Trump’s avatar, his user name @realdonaldtrump and real-time timestamps.
Lin Hang, one of the cofounders of the company, said that more than 1.5 million fake tweets have been created in Chinese and English.
“Wish everybody a very happy Chinese Lunar New Year! I love China! I love the Chinese people, just as I love Melania or Ivanka!” reads one such tweet.
Lin said that many of Jike’s 4 million users have also subscribed to news updates regarding tweets by Trump, with this service being among the most popular in the past few months.
“We came up with this idea to create fake Trump tweets because we realized that Chinese netizens, especially those from the younger generations, are very curious and interested in the Twitter content of Trump, who is fairly iconic and has a very recognizable style,” said Lin.
Lin added his team was also inspired by some websites such as Trump Generator which allows users to generate images of fake tweets to insult a friend of their choice. Unlike Jike, Trump Generator does not allow users to create their own text. Instead, users choose from a selection of pre-determined Twitter messages before sharing the image on their social media networks.
“We don’t have a political stand. This is just a way of having fun as Trump is currently the most distinctive symbol of American showmanship,” said Xing Zi, one of those who had used Jike to create fake Trump tweets.
“Similarly, emoji packages featuring Trump and even his wife have been popular on Chinese social networks and have created a wave of good-humored imitations,” added the 29-year-old who works at the Shanghai office of an American enterprise.
Trump’s tweeting habits have been widely covered by Chinese media since he assumed the presidency on Jan 20, with several commentaries criticizing how it is inappropriate for a world leader to express his economic and political intentions on the social networking platform.