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He is an American. He names himself Mike on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service which combines features of Twitter and Facebook and has 90 million users. He has recently come to China. That’s all we know about him so far. An average Joe who loves and seeks adventure in the Middle Kingdom, just like tens of thousands of his fellow countrymen.

However, he gained fame overnight, at least on Sina Weibo, for guilelessly questioning the Great Firewall and becoming one of the shortest-lived Weibo users, after his account was snuffed out several hours after his first post was posted.

The fateful microblog post says: “Hello everyone. My name is Mike. I come from the United States. I have just arrived in Beijing. I want to get in touch with my family on Facebook, but I can’t get access to it. Is there any method?”

The post soon became a wildfire. The tech-savvy and the kind-hearted as well as the playful and the cynical flooded his microblog page. It was allegedly shared by over 10,000 users before the account was deleted by censors at Sina Weibo.

(Blog posted on September 29, 2011 by Jing Gao. You can see the original article by following this link to Ministry of Tofu)


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