It’s a question mark because apparently the account, authentic or not, has already been deleted from Sina Weibo. The deletion came only a few hours after one of the posts from the account went viral.
Demos Chiang is the great grandson of Chiang Kai-shek, former leader of the Kuomintang (KMT) who was defeated by Mao during China’s civil war and then moved to Taiwan. Though growing up in one of China’s most famous political families, Demos stayed away from Taiwan politics as he was told to do. A Weibo post presumably written by Demos Chiang started to spread like a virus on Monday.
“My identity is so sensitive that I always fail to open a Weibo account. Sigh, no comments!”
Even way before the mainstreaming of social media in China, Demos Chiang has been popular among China’s youth, thanks to the popularity of Taiwan TV shows in mainland China and the unfortunate image of Mao Xinyu, the great grandson of Mao. As 魅力心世界 commented: “Whenever I hear the name of Demos Chiang, I think of Mao Xinyu [the great grandson of Mao]. They both come from famous families and yet are so unbelievably different.” And here, it’s not only difference of appearance, but also difference of how they view the history of China and of their families.
Due to the post, Jiang Youbo, the Pinyin of the Chinese name of Demos Chiang, is now the No. 2 most popular search on Sina Weibo. The post was from an unverified account under the name 蒋友柏_DEM (Jiang Youbo_DEM). Since the account has since been deleted, there is no way to verify the authenticity of it. But even when the account was still alive, Sina didn’t gave it the V status, which means Sina hasn’t verified who’s behind the account.
Jiang You bo No. 2 on Sina Weibo’s Top Search list
Many netizens expressed their doubts, questioning whether it’s another marketing account who tried to get some hype. 姑娘忒高兴 commented: “I think the account should be fake. Guess it’s another marketing account. It didn’t even use traditional Chinese. That’s why I didn’t follow it and only take it as a joke.” (Taiwan uses traditional Chinese as oppose to simplified Chinese in mainland China). On the other hand, many more others, like always, take the incidence as an opportunity to vent out their dissatisfaction with the Chinese government.
A comment made to Chiang’s original post that has also gone viral was by netizen 赖晓凌: “If your great grandfather [Chiang Kai-shek] had worked harder, now we could open Twitter accounts together.” Many netizens thought the comment was brilliant and truthfully expressed their feelings.
In fact, criticizing Chiang Kai-shek’s failure during the war against China’s Communist Party lead by Mao is a popular response to almost any news related to Taiwan. “Sir Chiang failed to destroy the bandits (蒋公剿匪不力)” is a catchy phrase used by many netizens to comment on news of Taiwan.
It’s not uncommon to see netizens in mainland China envy over the liberties and freedoms people in Taiwan enjoy from all aspects of life. For example, earlier this year during Taiwan’s presidential election, millions of netizens on Weibo closely followed news on every progress of the election and cynically told bitter jokes of their own unelected government officials.