May 15th, 2012
10:48 AM ET

The China hubbub over 'American French Fry Brother'

You might think Chinese social networks would be all a-Twitter (yes, pun intended) with mentions of the Bo and Chen scandals, but the censors continue to make heroic efforts to tamp that talk down.

So what has been trending there? Talk of "American French Fry Brother" — otherwise known as Jason Loose. (He also goes the Chinese name Lu Jiesen.) The recent graduate from Arizona State is currently in Nanjing.

Jason bought a bag of McDonald's french fries for a homeless woman there, and then he poured her some water. A bystander took photos of the act, and the images have been rocketing around Chinese cyberspace, where someone lovingly called this new hero, "American French Fry Brother."

Besides being popular on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, there's also been coverage in newspapers and on TV.

Why the hubbub over a simple act?

Jason says many Chinese correspondents have told him that Chinese society has grown cold and uncaring, and when China saw someone from outside the country doing a nice thing on their home turf, it struck a nerve.

I have another theory. Maybe the Chinese were desperate for a shred of good news.

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Topics: China • Last Look

soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Omar

    He have her McDonald's fries? Maybe he was trying to kill her.

    September 30, 2012 at 3:52 am | Reply
  2. Abba

    He is a spy.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  3. firefarmer

    I've never been to china, but I've lived in Guatemala City for a little over two months now and while the general population is on the whole very friendly and helpful, by far the most friendly and helpful friend I have met is a Chinese man living in Guatemala. He has been significantly more helpful and friendly than the Americans I have met. Even those who's job is to help my wife and I adjust to our new living and working conditions.

    October 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  4. avalanche

    Zakaria wrote: "I have another theory. Maybe the Chinese were desperate for a shred of good news."

    Just how stupid and condescending can you get? I think the Chinese with a 9% annual growth rate and US jobs moving over there at a record pace are getting lots of good news compared to us with a 1% growth rate and millions unemployed.

    October 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  5. Republicon

    Where are the tanks? We need pictures of Chinese Tanks so that we can justify building even MORE tanks!

    October 14, 2012 at 1:36 am | Reply
  6. Rex Remes

    Empathy does not exist in Chinese culture.

    October 15, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
  7. Michael

    Some Chinese are this way..but others would give you the shirts off their back

    October 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  8. Harry Kuheim

    Well obviously this guy doesn't know McDonald's is an Evil Big Corporation that should be Regulated, Taxed and Hounded out of Business because they make good french Fries and poor Black people get fat eating them according to Michele Obama and OWS.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  9. Rosina

    It is a funny thing to see how the States brainwashed so many people. For decades, they stayed in their own country, f commenting affairs in other county while pretending they know everything. They killed their own curiosity and try to kill that of others at the same time. So pathetic! If you wanna comment, you need to experience it yourself. Every coin has two sides, not mention there're so many people in China. Chinese people are diligent, and working hard. Why they do so? There're so many people and so little resources allocated to everyone, you have to struggle and compete for everything instead of hoping the govenment solve the problems. But we believe we can be better and stronger, as most of the Chinese are working on their own. They know what the world looks like, and they try their best to build their own country other than make indiscrete remarks on other countries and do nothing helpful for their own people. We're pacing forward! Look at you!

    October 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
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