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Twitter is blocked in China. Without the help of VPN services, people cannot log on to the site to reach information unfiltered by the Chinese government.
But that doesn’t mean internet savvy users cannot poke fun at the newly inaugurated US president.
As the Lunar New Year is right around the corner, officially starting on Saturday and marks a fresh start for the Year of the Rooster, netizens are faking tweets using Donald Trump’s Twitter handle @realdonaldtrump.
With the help of a start-up application called Jike, downloadable from the Chinese app store, one can enter any content and a snapshot is created, often with the same distinctive exclamation mark and bitter or outraged tone used by the president himself.
Jike said on Thursday that in only four days, users had created more than a million fake Trump tweets in Chinese and English.
“Make your Chicken Year Great Again!” A succinct and powerful one.
“Happy Chinese New Year, and please be generous in giving out red envelopes!” is a common phrase, mocking the Chinese New Year tradition of giving out red envelopes with cash inside, usually from the elders to the youngsters.
“All the universities should cancel the homework and exams for Chinese students to enjoy the Spring Festival!” This one obviously comes from a student attending after-school classes in the fierce competition to excel in his final exams.
“I get all five Fu in Zhifubao, but where is Red Bao? Where is the money? Look, this is how Chinese fool our American. Sad!” With some grammar mistakes, this Trump tweet mocks China’s biggest online shopping company Alibaba, which recently launched a Pokemon-style game rewarding users if they collect enough photos of Fu – the Chinese equivalent of Christmas ornaments.
Some of the “tweets” are in Chinese characters only, but they still fooled quite a few people, who thought the new president was making efforts to mend ties between China and the US.
With the environment of free speech further tightened under Xi Jinping’s administration, making fun of the American president seems to have become the new political correctness.
Fake Trump tweets are filling up Chinese social media without censorship. With a 15-day long nationwide festival about to start, why not have some fun?
I couldn’t help my curiosity and added one more.