HONG KONG — A 16-year-old who’s believed to be a member of the Qatari royal household has turn into a sensation on Chinese language social media after his seen disappointment over Qatar’s loss within the opening match of the World Cup, with followers affectionately calling him the “dumpling wrapper prince.”
Abdulrahman Fahad al-Thani’s animated facial expressions as host nation Qatar misplaced 2-0 to Ecuador on Sunday, alongside along with his conventional Qatari headdress, led Chinese language social media customers to say he seemed like La’eeb, the World Cup mascot.
That they had earlier joked about La’eeb’s resemblance to conventional Chinese language dumpling wrappers, and so Abdulrahman’s nickname was born.
“We love him as a result of he’s so cute,” one consumer commented on Weibo, a well-liked social media platform just like Twitter. “It’s bought nothing to do with politics.”
On Douyin, the Chinese language model of TikTok, customers have tried to re-create Abdulrahman’s facial expressions whereas carrying headdresses they original themselves. Hashtags for “Little Prince La’eeb” and “dumpling wrapper prince” have gone viral, and pictures of Abdulrahman have turn into a staple emoji pack for Chinese language soccer followers.
Abdulrahman has additionally joined within the enjoyable, creating an account on Douyin that has amassed greater than 15 million followers in lower than per week. On Weibo, which he joined on Wednesday as “Little Prince La’eeb,” he has posted twice and gained virtually 2.5 million followers.
“Ni hao. Hey. That is my message for all of my Chinese language associates. Thanks a lot for all of your assist,” he mentioned in his first Douyin video.
In an interview with CCTV, China’s state-run broadcaster, Abdulrahman, mentioned he was stunned by the eye he acquired in China after the match.
“I used to be simply reacting, only a regular response,” he mentioned. “I didn’t anticipate to succeed in to China or to anyplace else, truthfully.”
However he mentioned he was completely satisfied to have made a constructive impression, and he invited folks in China to see his nation for themselves.
“All of you, all of the Chinese language followers, are welcome to Qatar to expertise our superb tradition,” he mentioned.
Qatar has since been eradicated from the World Cup, turning into the primary host nation to lose all three matches within the group stage.