Jackie Chan riding the ‘duang’ wave at CPPCC


In this March 3, 2014 file photo, Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan, center, is escorted by officials as he is surrounded by journalists upon arrival at the Great Hall of the People to attend the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing. Photo: AP

Jackie Chan might still be popular in China, but nowadays the actor is as well-known as fodder for jokes as he is for his gritty martial arts and slapstick humor on screen. His latest contribution to the country’s mass culture and entertainment: “duang”.

It’s not a word, but a sound he made in an old TV commercial meaning something like “ta-da!” A new mash-up video of the old ad has made “duang” a trending topic on China’s social media.

The sound began circulating days before the legislature was called into session this week.

Though the tone of the phrase is more derisive than fun, Chan has been a good sport. “It’s quite funny,” he told reporters on the steps of Beijing’s Great Hall of the People this week.

Chan used the sound in a 2004 infomercial to sell shampoo. In the ad, he maintains there was no “duang” — or special effects — to make his hair look blacker, shinier and softer, but that the shampoo itself was responsible. Authorities later ruled that the commercial made false claims, and Chan’s reputation suffered.

The word “duang” — in its Romanized form — has become one of the hottest expressions in Chinese cyberspace, and parodies of Chan’s shampoo endorsement are spreading online. Someone has even proposed a Chinese character for the sound by overlaying the two characters of Jackie Chan’s name, though modern Chinese does not officially incorporate new characters.

Chan is one of just a few well-known faces connected to the legislature.

This story is compiled with information from The Associated Press.