It’s a culture that has emerged along with the rise of apps like Kuaishou, where Liu has amassed over 356,000 followers during the past three years. While more tech-savvy users from larger cities are on rival Douyin (the Chinese version of the hit short video app TikTok), a large portion of Kuaishou users, who appear to skew male (link in Chinese), are from China’s smaller cities or remote villages. The group uses the platform to record their way of life in China’s countryside, including harvesting farm produce or feeding hogs, as well as putting on high-octane, “don’t try this at home” feats. Founded in 2015, it has over 300 million monthly active users.

“When you look at Kuaishou, there are many people like Liu, who are simple but sincere folks. Liu is like the nice, friendly guy who could always outdrink everyone else at a party—everyone probably knows, and likes such a guy back in their hometown,” said Elliott Zaagman, a co-host of the China Tech-Investor Podcast. “He probably reminds Americans a bit of Chris Farley, a very likeable figure who would do silly things just to get attention.” Farley was a comedian who was on the cast of the comedy show Saturday Night Live in the 1990s, where he gained a following for his self-deprecating jokes.

Compared with the overwhelming praise for Liu on Twitter, the reception of “village bros” like him has not always been kind in China, especially because users appeared to egg one another on to behave in harmful or dangerous ways, such as heavy drinking. A viral online article (link in Chinese) in 2016 described the sentiment well: “On Kuaishou, you can see self-abuse videos, vulgar, sexual jokes, and people who act weirdly and will make you feel uncomfortable. The app shines a light on the dark corner of our society,” wrote the article.

Eventually, the company drew the ire of the regulators, which criticized it over its “vulgar content” last year. The company issued an apology (link in Chinese), promising to “take down content that should not exist on the platform.”

Liu, who lives in northern China’s Hebei province, where he helping his parents out farming wheat and corn, and also runs a business selling meats via the WeChat messaging app, appears to be enjoying his newly-founded fame on Twitter. He’s been posting a steady stream of videos on the platform, which often come with warnings to teens not to mimic his behavior, and invitations to send him money.

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