ie Wei proves you are never “too ugly” to go viral. Dressed as an ancient Chinese swordsman, Xie, who runs the tourism bureau in Suizhou County, Hubei Province, posted a video to Douyin (China’s TikTok) of him performing a sword dance in one of Suizhou’s lush forests.
Though his intention was to showcase the county’s natural beauty, netizens said his looks detracted from it. “What an awful model he is,” one comment read. “I don’t think a director should appear in a promo video if he’s not good-looking enough,” read another one. However, Xie had his defenders, who said officials are not appointed for their looks, and praised him for trying to connect with the wider public. “Why do you guys judge people based on appearance? I like the director. He is working very hard to promote his county,” one supporter posted on Douyin. Xie’s army of supporters quickly grew after he responded to some of the negative comments he received on Douyin, attributing his “unflattering appearance” in the video to his profuse sweating.
Xie, 50, was appointed in February and opened a Douyin account to promote the county in May. The account has 28 videos in which a fully costumed Xie guides tours of Suizhou’s scenic spots. The “sword dance” video has received over 90,000 likes and been forwarded nearly 50,000 times, increasing Xie’s followers by 20,000 to 62,000. Netizens said Xie has achieved his goal of getting Suizhou County’s name out there. Xie told media that he would do all he could to promote Suizhou and is open to feedback to improve future videos.