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China spokeswoman’s Taiwan restaurant tweet sparks ridicule online

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Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying suggested the popularity of mainland Chinese food in Taiwan proved the island belonged to Beijing

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying suggested the popularity of mainland Chinese food in Taiwan proved the island belonged to Beijing – Copyright AFP Noel Celis

A senior Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman has prompted a storm of ridicule online, after a late-night tweet where she used restaurant listings to assert Beijing’s claim over Taiwan. 

“Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying posted on the social media site late on Sunday.

“Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home,” she added.

Hua’s tweet comes at the end of a week of tensions around the Taiwan Strait, during which Beijing raged at a trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island, which China considers part of its territory.

The Chinese government has responded to Pelosi’s trip by cancelling a series of talks and cooperation agreements with Washington, as well as deploying fighter jets, warships and ballistic missiles around democratic, self-ruled Taiwan.

Hua’s tweet on Sunday appeared to backfire, as thousands of users on Twitter — a site banned in China and only accessible via special VPN software — piled on to poke holes in the top official’s logic.

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“There are over 100 ramen restaurants in Taipei, so Taiwan is definitely a part of Japan,” a Twitter user with the handle “Marco Chu” wrote in Hua’s replies.

“Google Maps show that there are 17 McDonalds, 18 KFCs, 19 Burger Kings, and 19 Starbucks in Beijing. Palates don’t cheat. #China has always been a part of America. The long lost child will eventually return home,” Twitter user “@plasticreceiver” wrote in a parody of Hua’s tweet.

Others wondered jokingly if Hua’s logic meant Beijing could place claims on territories far beyond the Asia Pacific region.

“There are 29 dumpling houses in the Greater Los Angeles area not to mention 89 noodle restaurants,” a person tweeting under the name “Terry Adams” wrote.

“Using Hua’s logic, LA has always been a part of China.”

Sunday’s tweet is far from the first time Beijing’s diplomats have raised eyebrows with their use of social media that their own government prohibits.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has frequently promoted conspiracy theories on Twitter, including the idea that the US military might have brought Covid-19 to China.

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WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

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WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

WhatsApp has announced the launch of a new Call Links feature, which, as it sounds, will enable you to share a link to invite others to join a group chat in the app.

As you can see in these examples, you’ll now be able to create dedicated URL links for WhatsApp group video and audio chats, which will make it easier for others to join the discussion in the app.

When available (the option is being rolled out this week), you’ll be able to see the Call Link option within your ‘Calls’ tab, enabling you to create a shareable link to get people into your chats.

It could be an easy way to help enhance community connection, and facilitate engagement, while brands could also use the option to better connect with influencers and advocates, in a more direct, intimate way.

For example, you could run an exclusive chat to discuss your upcoming product launch, or seek feedback on potential updates. Meta’s says that it’s also working on secure, encrypted video calling for up to 32 people as well, so there could soon be a range of ways to use the option as a means to spotlight specific audience segments and engage with them direct.

And with more engagement switching to messaging tools, that’s definitely worth considering.

Indeed, as part of a recent product announcement, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that:

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Most people use feeds to discover content and use messaging for deeper connections.”

As such, it may be time to start considering how you can lean into this shift, and better align with how users are now connecting, in order to maximize community and engagement.

Feeds are increasingly being overtaken by entertainment, so if you want to tap into the connective benefits of the medium, that may no longer be the place to be to reach your fans.

Messaging, and messaging groups, could be an important consideration going forward, and these new tools provide more options on this front.



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