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.
Elon Musk Says He Wants To Meet His Chinese Doppelgänger
Elon Musk said he'd like to meet his doppelgänger, Yilong Ma, if he is real and not 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. He's from the northeastern Chinese province of Hebei and first went viral on China's version of TikTok, Douyin.
Musk was responding this week to a Twitter user who suggested that the "Chinese Elon Musk" could be a "decoy" for the real deal.
"I'd like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days," Musk tweeted on Monday, 9 May.
I’d like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Ma now has a TikTok account under the username "Elong Musk," which has over 230,000 followers. He has since posted several videos on TikTok, including an introduction video where he refers to himself as "China's Elon Musk."
@mayilong0 My English is awful. But I will try my best to communicate with you！My bro！#tesla #elonmusk ♬ Horizon-Janji - 看见音乐
Ma also celebrated Elon Musk's high-profile acquisition of Twitter, posting a TikTok video in which he animatedly points at a printout of the Twitter icon, calling it "my bird!"
@mayilong0 This is a free bird. I like him and I'm going to go to him right now. Because Elon Musk is my brother#elonmusk #tesla #twitter ♬ dance(256762) - TimTaj
In his most recent video, posted this week, Ma is attempting to speak English. He uploaded it with the caption: "Actually, I don't know what I'm talking about, please forgive me."
@mayilong0 Actually I don't know what I'm talking about, please forgive me. I'm embarrassed, I need an English teacher.#elonmusk #twins #tesla ♬ Canyons - Official Sound Studio
The video found its way to Musk, prompting the Tesla and SpaceX CEO to quip on December 20 that he may be "partly Chinese."
Maybe I’m partly Chinese!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
For his part, Ma has responded to Musk's overtures, saying that he would love to meet him, too. "I am here. I want very much to see you too! I love you, you are my hero," Ma wrote on Tuesday on China's Twitter-like Weibo.
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.
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.
Comparing the work ethic of Americans to their Chinese counterparts, Musk said that while employees in China will ‘burn the 3am oil’, in the US, people are ‘trying to avoid going to work at all’.
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."