Featured Image Credit: alamy/MaYiLong0/TikTok
Elon Musk has said he wants to meet his Chinese ‘doppelgänger’, but admits he’s sceptical as to whether the man really exists or is just a deepfake.
Dubbed the ‘Chinese Elon Musk’, social media user mayilong0 first went viral last year when he shared a video of himself standing next to a car.
The video, captioned: “China could never copy Tesla,” quickly became an internet hit and even found its way to Musk himself, who said at the time: “Maybe I’m partly Chinese!”
This week, Musk confirmed he’d be interested in meeting his Chinese counterpart, after a Twitter user suggested ‘Chinese Elon Musk’ was a decoy for the Tesla CEO.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, 9 May, Musk wrote: “I'd like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days.”
According to Insider, the social media user with an uncanny resemblance to Musk is called Ma, and they first went viral on Douyin, China’s equivalent to TikTok.
Ma now has his own TikTok account and goes by the username ‘Elong Musk’. He has already amassed more than 230,000 followers and confirmed he’d love to meet Musk.
Writing on Chinese social media platform Weibo this week, Ma said: "I am here. I want very much to see you too! I love you, you are my hero.”
When Ma released his first video last year, viewers were quick to suggest he was using deepfake technology as the similarities in appearance were simply too good to be true.
I’d like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Deepfakes use artificial intelligence called deep learning to create images of fake events and people.
According to The Guardian, the image manipulation technology first gained widespread attention in 2017 when a Reddit user swapped the faces of famous celebrities onto porn performers.
In other Musk-China related news, the billionaire entrepreneur praised the country’s work ethic earlier this week during an interview with the Financial Times.
Explaining that he expects some ‘very strong companies’ to come out of China, Musk went on: “There's just a lot of super-talented, hardworking people in China who strongly believe in manufacturing.”
He added of China’s work ethic: "They won't just be burning the midnight oil. They will be burning the 3am oil.
“They won't even leave the factory type of thing, whereas in America people are trying to avoid going to work at all."
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]