(MENAFN- The Peninsula) mahmoud elmazaty |
The Peninsula Online
Doha, Qatar: Twitter owner Elon Musk might have taken a backseat in Chinese social media this week as attention gravitated toward Ya Ya, a beloved giant panda that was returned to China last month.
Musk's visit, aimed at expanding Tesla's foothold in China amidst an increasingly bitter US-China relationship, was not a subject of great discussion on Weibo; China's equivalent of Twitter.
Elon Musk met Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing on May 30, the ministry said, as the Tesla CEO embarks on his first trip to China in more than three years. (Photo by Handout / Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China / AFP)
Apart from a few posts about Musk's dinner, the tech billionaire's presence failed to make a significant impact on Chinese social media, according to a Business Insider report.
Despite Musk's notable visit to Beijing on Tuesday – his first in three years that included meetings with Foreign Minister Qin Gang and various industry and commerce ministries- it was Ya Ya who truly captivated the nation.
Ya Ya became a symbol of national pride and a focal point of patriotic fervor due to accusations of mistreatment while in the US.
The panda returned home on April 27 after two decades spent at the Memphis Zoo.
Following a month-long quarantine, the 23-year-old panda's reunion with her family at the Beijing Zoo was a major trend on Chinese social media.
According to Insider data, the footage of Ya Ya playing at the Beijing Zoo under the hashtag "Ya Ya joins the group chat" has garnered 230 million views on Weibo.
In contrast, posts about Musk's dinner managed only 51 million views.
Hashtags about Musk's China trip and Tesla's stocks also fell short, with 2.3 million and 5 million views.
Musk, who maintains a Weibo account with 2 million followers, used it to make a post praising China's space program on Tuesday.
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