TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese netizens are crying foul after they discovered that their hero and original "wolf warrior" has been posting to social media with an iPhone instead of a domestic brand.
"Wolf Warrior" is a Chinese propaganda film that depicts People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers fighting foreign mercenaries who are led by US Navy Seal-turned mercenary named Tom Cat, who is played by Scott Adkins. The film is directed by Wu Jing (吳京), who also plays the film's protagonist Leng Feng (冷鋒), a PLA sniper.
It was released in Chinese cinemas in multiple versions in 2015 when it grossed US$89.9 million. The sequel "Wolf Warrior 2," was released in 2017 and grossed over US$874 million, leading some to question whether the astronomical box office sales were faked, given previous irregularities uncovered by the MPAA.
The sequel received the backing of the PLA which lent nearly 10,000 rounds of ammunition and hundreds of tanks and helicopters for the production, according to Liberty Times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the term "wolf warrior" was adopted in China's diplomatic sphere to describe a new tactic of aggressively lashing out at critics online.
Because of Wu Jing's starring role in the film series, he is considered the head of the pack and "wolf warrior spokesperson" by Chinese netizens. However, starting on March 12, Chinese netizens started to notice that the words "iPhone 12 Pro Max" began to appear at the end of each of his posts on Weibo, indicating the phone of origin for the messages.
Wu Jing's most recent post showing that he is still using an iPhone. (Weibo screenshot)
By March 21, Chinese followers could no longer contain themselves and they started to howl out in protest:
"Even you have betrayed the wolf warriors?"
"The wolf warrior spokesman is using American goods. How petty can you get? I can't stand this."
"Han Chinese dog traitor."
"Why don't you use Huawei?"
"What's wrong with Chinese things? You always have to use foreign things? So petty!"
"Please cease this wrongdoing and use Huawei immediately."
"How many bullets does this phone make for the enemy? We Chinese won't fall for this con. Please hurry up and change it to a Huawei as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will be a fake patriot and a real Han Chinese traitor."
However, other Chinese netizens felt the outrage was disingenuous and hypocritical:
"Extreme fans are really hating on the brand."
"What kind of mobile phone do you use? Why does it matter to you? Do you have to dig up dirt for a phone brand?"
"We don't have to buy Huawei to prove we love Huawei."
"Why do you have to tell other people what to do?"
"Huawei is garbage, why use it?"
"Hehe, then why do you want to study English?"
In response to the many netizens who commented from a Xiaomi phone, one netizen asked, "Why don't you use Huawei?"
Wu Jing has yet to respond to his fan's complaints. His most recent Weibo post uploaded on March 23 was still from an iPhone and simply read, "Tomorrow will be even better!"