John Xina, also known as Jiang Xina or Zhong Xina, is a Photoshopped image macro of WWE Wrestler John Cena that has been altered to make him appear to be the Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong. This image macro can be used for malicious purposes. Although the term “John Xina” was used on Twitter as early as 2016, image macros associated with the nickname did not make their debut on Instagram until May 2021. This was because the nickname made a comeback on Twitter in May 2021 due to a video of John Cena defending China’s military pressure for Taiwan’s reunification with China that went viral. In the video, Cena defended China’s pressure on Taiwan to reunite with China.
The alias “John Xina” initially surfaced on Twitter in 2016, and has been used there ever since. On the 30th of January, 2016, the user @kurususan agfly on Twitter tweeted the phrase “JOHN Xina.” In a tweet sent out on May 23, 2016, @kurususan agfly referred to “John Xina” once more. (shown below). These are the earliest instances that can be found of John Cena utilizing the moniker that is known to exist.
On May 24, 2021, a video of John Cena’s apology to China was discovered on Twitter, which had been uploaded by user @JoeXu. Cena had apologized for his actions in China. RealWWEJohnCena, the account that belongs to John Cena, was the one that initially uploaded the video to the social networking platform Weibo in China. Over the course of five months, the video shared on Weibo acquired approximately 68,200 likes, and the repost of that video by the user @JoeXu on Twitter received approximately 11,800 likes and 10,000 quote tweets.
The user @Richard Harambe of Twitter released a quotation tweet on May 25, 2021, in which he referred to John Cena as “John Xina” in response to the video that was shared on Weibo. The tweet (which is displayed below) includes a Photoshopped image of Cena leading a communist revolution. It earned 444 likes over the period of five months. This post motivated a number of other Twitter users to make fun of Cena’s video by referring to themselves as “John Xina” in their own tweets on that day. Following @Richard Harambe’s tweet on that same day, the hashtag #JohnXina started trending on Twitter as well.
A meme account on Twitter and Instagram called @grandoldmemes shared a photoshopped image of John Cena dressed up as Xi Jinping on their Instagram account on May 25, 2021.
Approximately 6,600 people showed their approval for the post that was published approximately five months ago (it may be seen below). On May 26, 2021, the photograph was re-uploaded to Reddit by the user ClassicSoulboy and placed in the walkaway subreddit. The image has a total of 100 positive votes.
The graphic-tee firm American As Fack started selling a t-shirt on May 26, 2021, that featured a different photoshop of John Cena dressed as Chairman Mao. The shirt was available for purchase. On May 27, 2021, the website American Military News published an article about the t-shirt (which may be seen below). The article discussed the clothing. In the days that followed, screenshots from the article developed into their own picture macro craze and were published on websites such as iFunny.
In the days that followed, photos of American As Fack’s image that had been blown up and oversaturated started circulating on Reddit. On May 30, 2021, the oversaturated image was initially posted to the subreddit r/CommunismMemes by the user CrimbusIsOver. Over the period of two and a half months, the image that can be seen below garnered around 1,500 upvotes. On the same day, the image was shared on the subreddit known as r/blurredimages.
A user named Daftpunkerzz1988 from Reddit published the first known video meme on May 27, 2021, and it featured the image of John Xina. The meme was posted in the subreddit r/ADVChina.
Over the span of a quarter of a year, the video garnered a total of 297 upvotes.
In October 2021, videos referring to John Xina using the footage of John Cena Speaking Chinese and Eating Ice Cream began to be incorporated in memes centering around the incident involving China’s Social Credit System. [Cena] was seen eating ice cream while speaking Chinese. For example, on October 3, 2021, the user thebaliguns published a video to the subreddit r/shitposting on the Reddit website. Over the course of five days, the video garnered a total of 110 likes.
Since the end of May 2021, memes featuring the image macro of John Xina have been extremely popular on Reddit and Twitter. These memes often include catchphrases, such as “You Can’t Xi Me,” amongst other expressions.
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