Tweet­ing like Trump be­comes a big hit in China

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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