She’s a Chinese tech vlogger with a large following and a sympathetic backstory regarding gender identity, kinda famous for anime-esque proportions that she is not shy about.
Officially or not she is a soft power figure for the regime. I’ve been blocked/unblocked by her multiple times on Twitter (seems I’m not alone, there, not sure what the deal is). She is big on dishing out hot takes and blocking anyone who questions them at all.
There’s very little that gets to me more than “western media is OBSESSED with something something unfairly negative about China”. There’s a particularly loathsome figure state media loves to platform named Maitreya Bhakal who’s sole takes are “white person = Nazi” and “western media is OBSESSED with trashing Eileen Gu (or whoever/whatever from China is at all currently noteworthy) but NEVER reports on any problems in America”.
The take Naomi Wu posted that pissed me off is essentially that western media is always reporting that China is going to collapse and if Chinese media was similarly ignorant they’d do the same regarding the US. So many layers to this. First of all, THERE IS NO TAKE THAT WILL GET YOU PLATFORMED ON STATE MEDIA QUICKER THAN “THE WEST/US IS COLLAPSING”.
Meanwhile, Gordon Chang (who no one, literally no one, takes seriously. He’s looked upon as a joke) and some guy I’d never heard of who was on Rogan recently are, afaik, pretty much the only people you’ll see claiming PRC is on the verge of collapse (Gordon’s been on that beat for two decades). Reporting that China’s population has fallen, despite clear efforts by the government to not have that happen, and that this could come with some problems is not saying China is collapsing. It’s not anti-China, it’s not dishonest, it’s basic reporting. That’s 99% of China reporting from major western news outlets: fact, context, potential consequences. Same with the Wuhan lockdown and Zero Covid: harsher than the rest of the world, very few deaths compared with other countries, potential economic consequences, not sustainable indefinitely.
NY Times just published an op-ed last week that wasn’t that far away from “saying mean things about Xi Jinping is causing hate crimes against Asian-Americans”. Funny, I still haven’t got the invite to write in state media about how Zero Covid meant not seeing my wife for over two years.
Even to the extent that reporting from actual journalists has a slant against the Chinese government. There is clearly fault that lies with the entity that kicked out nearly all foreign journalists and currently is holding a Chinese-Australian former state media journalist hostage in prison, I believe for over three years now.
The Economist’s guy in China, David Rennie, made a great point on a podcast with Bill Bishop (#1 China watch guy out there) that the lack of foreign journalists in China made it a lot harder for western media to reflect on the Chinese perspectives on Covid Zero. That for much of the population its comforting to have people at the front of small town and villages regulating people coming in and out etc. The PRC government is happy to sacrifice such foreign understanding of China in order to cut off the credibility of foreign media at the knees by kicking them out of the country.
As for Naomi Wu, if she were an out-and-out state media propagandist it’d bother me less.
TLDR I really need to get a job and better hobbies