The Trending Question: Where did Kang Kang Go?

It is the first day of the Year of the Monkey. One day after the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, Weibo netizens have one burning question: whatever happened to the show’s official mascot Kang Kang the Monkey? The mascot, that became a trending topic because people deemed it ugly, was nowhere to be seen on the night of the Gala.

Just two weeks ago the CCTV announced this year’s Spring Festival mascot on its official   Weibo account. It was the second year that China’s state broadcaster had a mascot for its annual CCTV Gala; last year, it was Yang Yang the Goat.

But Kang Kang the Monkey turned out to be less popular than its predecessor Yang Yang. The mascot was ridiculed by netizens, who thought it was ugly. The 3D design (image below, on the right) was different from the original sketch (left). According to the majority of Weibo’s netizens, the designers of the 3D version had mistaken Kang Kang’s paws for balls, resulting in a monkey with ‘tumors’ growing from his head.

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Kang Kang appeared in the promo video that was broadcasted before the CCTV Spring Gala, where the ‘tumors’ had seemed to have disappeared:

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But on the night of the CCTV Gala, Kang Kang did not make its appearance at all. The next day, the question “Where did Kang Kang go?” (#康康去哪儿了#) has become a trending topic on Weibo.

Weibo netizens discuss the various reasons why Kang Kang did not come on the show, with some wondering if he left when he saw the show’s rehearsal, and others suggesting they should file a missing’s person report. There are multiple netizens who think Kang Kang might have carried ‘dangerous goods’ and did not pass the CCTV’s strict security checks.

“We first all thought he was ugly, but we cannot speak ill of the dead,…let’s take a moment of silent,” one netizen says.

“He was just so ugly that he did not dare go on stage,” another Weibo user writes.

Several drawings of a sad Kang Kang are circulating online.

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Meanwhile, CCTV has monkeys on its Weibo account that bear no resemblance to Kang Kang. The question whatever happened to Kang Kang remains unanswered.

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For an overview of the CCTV Gala, the video’s of the performances (without Kang Kang) and all the ins & outs, check out our CCTV Gala 2016 liveblog.

By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Author

About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. 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 manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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