TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The most-subscribed YouTuber in the world has drawn the ire of Taiwanese by inserting Taiwan into a map of China for the second time in five months.
On Tuesday (Jan. 23), James Stephen "Jimmy" Donaldson, better known by his YouTube handle MrBeast announced that he was officially launching a channel on the Chinese video-sharing website Bilibili. Within 24 hours the video gained 4.1 million views, 370,000 likes, and 3,700 shares.
Eyal Baumel, who is handling the YouTuber's expansion into the China market was cited by The Business Times as saying that Donaldson had selected Bilibili because it has many commonalities with YouTube, where the influencer has 234 million subscribers. Baumel added that Donaldson also plans to set up pages on other major Chinese social media accounts such as Douyin, Kuaishou, Weibo, and Xiaohongshu.
In the video, Donaldson said he has an audience all over the world "except China" and displayed a map of China that depicted Taiwan as being part of the communist country. That same day, the post on Bilibili drew flak from Reddit users for including Taiwan in the map of China such as, "Time to cut China out of our supply chains and expose all their lies and disinformation they sow around the world."
The post was also quickly shared to the subreddit for Taiwan which led to cynical comments chalking up his actions to greed and lack of awareness of foreign affairs, while others pointed out that such a move would alienate Taiwanese fans. One user noted Donaldson's claims that he has an audience all around the world except China and that Taiwan is part of that country, are contradicted by the fact that his YouTube channel is readily accessible in Taiwan.
The title of the Reddit post read: "MrBeast draw(s) Taiwan as part of China, again, because on Aug. 20, 2023, Donaldson uploaded a video with the misleading title "Every Country on Earth Fights for US$250,000." In a map of the world that showed the countries that were actually represented, Taiwan was included with a map of China.
Donaldson has yet to respond to a request by Taiwan News to comment on why Taiwan was included in a map of China in his latest video.
Map uploaded in August 2023 showing Taiwan part of China. (YouTube, MrBeast screenshot)