Chinese Netizens: CCTV’s New Year’s Mascot Kangkang “Too Ugly”

This week, CCTV revealed Kangkang the Monkey, the mascot of its 2016 Spring Festival Gala. It did not receive a warm welcome from Chinese netizens, who mocked the monkey saying it is ugly and wondering if the two balls near its head are tumors.

China Central Television (CCTV)’s unveiled its new mascot on the evening of January 21st on its   official Weibo account, asking netizens how they liked it.

Kangkang (康康) the Monkey is the official mascot of the New Year’s Eve Spring Gala. With over 700 million people watching, the Chinese New Year show is the world’s biggest television event. Last year, Yangyang the Goat was the show’s official first mascot.

This year’s Kangkang, representing the Year of the Monkey, does not seem to be liked by Chinese netizens. They compare it to a traffic light and wonder what the balls near the monkey’s face are supposed to be. kangkangwhatsonweibo

The designer of Kangkang, Han Meilin (韩美林), also designed the famous 2008 Beijing Olympiad mascots.


According to Shanghai Daily, Han made the original design (see drawing below), but denies making the 3D version that is mocked by netizens.


One netizen comments: “I think that in the original drawing of Han Meilin, the two little ‘balls’ are supposed to be cute little hands, not tumors.” The comment got ‘liked’ over 16950 times by netizens who seem to agree that the 3D version of Kangkang is not how the designer intended it. Another netizen says: “Excuse me? How can this be? The 3D version of the monkey is ugly beyond belief! Aren’t the rounds on the original his claws?!”

“This is just too ugly,” one netizen writes.

Other Weibo users post gifs and pictures of the design that depict the monkey as a traffic light or evil creature.



By Manya Koetse

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About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at, or follow on Twitter.

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