Recently, a Chinese man who resembled Tesla’s founder Elon Musk caused heated discussion on major social platforms in China. His accounts, however, on Weibo and ByteDance’s Douyin, have been banned.
Under the screen name “Ma Yilong 0”, he released his first video emulating Musk in December 2021 and subsequently became very popular on the Internet. Since then, Musk himself has even replied to his doppelganger’s videos on two separate occasions.
On December 20th last year, Musk responded to the resemblance on social media: “Maybe I’m partially Chinese!”. Recently, when Musk replied to the tweet of “Should we deploy Chinese Elon Musk as a decoy?”, Musk said, “I’d like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days.”
In response, “Ma Yilong 0” responded to Musk on Weibo: “I am here, I really want to see you, and I love you. You are my hero.”
Recently, however, some netizens found that “Ma Yilong 0” accounts on Weibo and Douyin had banned. Some netizens question his use of AI face changing and suggested that the historical avatar of the “Chinese version of Musk” was quite different from his face which resembles Musk now. Musk is a celebrity businessman and there are a large number of photos and videos featuring his likeness on the Internet.
The man has not publicly responded to outside questions. However, he has already deleted some of his posts on Weibo, with only three posts remaining. He hasn’t deleted anything from Douyin.