A social media influencer from South Korea is recently being seared for endorsing messages that Chinese netizens perceived as insulting to their country due to a mistranslation. She was ultimately dropped from her Chinese management agency.
Hamzy Under Fire for 'Insulting' China
A South Korean internet content creator named Hamzy hosts mukbang, also known as an eating show where people stream themselves eating large quantities of food. She has a YouTube channel with more than five million subscribers and videos, each producing millions of views.
The video streaming website allows content creators to "like" comments, which become marked with a heart. Hamzy liked a number of comments left by Korean viewers that her Chinese fan base found unpleasant, reported The Epoch Times.
The popular host has found herself in a pickle with Chinese followers after being involved in a months-long spat over kimchi between the two nations' netizens, reported CGTN.
Hamzy creates videos on social media of herself eating while making loud noises of chewing and swallowing food, which is termed ASMR Mukbangs.
One comment the vlogger liked claimed that kimchi, a side dish of salted fermented vegetables, originated from South Korea.
The ownership of the side dish is heavily disputed between South Korea and China, reported Q Research.
Chinese social media users clashed with Koreans on the internet in late 2020 when the International Organization for Standardization issued a standard for pao cai. Pao Cai is a similar fermented vegetable dish from Sichuan, China.
However, the comment that ignited the fury of Chinese netizens the most was one that referred to Chinese people using a word that was derogatory when translated.
Hamzy is a well-known figure in this genre, which merges two of the largest online trends: eating broadcasts or mukbangs and ASMR videos, which center on auditory experiences via a myriad of sounds to trigger a pleasurable sensory response among viewers.
On YouTube, the South Korean has garnered 5.3 million followers since she was a beginner at uploading videos of herself slurping noodles and digging in burgers since mid-2019.
The commenter remarked he was not pleased that "Chinese guys" were claiming that ssam, a Korean dish consisting of meat wrapped with leafy vegetables, was [art of Chinese culinary culture. Hamzy liked this comment.
When Google Translate is used, the Korean word used to allude to Chinese people translates to "Chinese guys." The web translator Papago had a different result. When used in the screenshot of the comment circulating in social media, it translated to a Chinese word that is much more derogatory and offensive. Thus, Chinese users regarded it as an insult to China.
The vlogger is as big on Chinese social networks as on YouTube, boasting around 3 million followers on Weibo, a Chinese twitter-like platform, and more than 1 million on each of Little Red Book, a social shopping app, and bilibili, a video sharing website.
In a statement released on January 16 on her Weibo, Hamzy released a statement of apology for liking the messages and stated she had no intention to offend. "If I had unintentionally offended everyone, and made everyone feel uncomfortable, I hereby sincerely apologize. I really do respect Chinese culinary culture, and I hope that everyone can see that."