Huang Yixin and Wei Wei, two students at the Guangzhou College of Fine Arts, were hanging around their dormitory last summer and decided”as one does”to turn on their webcam, put on their Houston-Rockets jerseys and lip-synch a few of their favourite songs by the Backstreet Boys. They uploaded the clips to Google Video, a free website full of such stuff. Their grimaces are over the top, self-consciously ludicrous. And they became famous almost instantly.
Astonishingly famous. Almost every Chinese internet user under a certain age has seen the “Back Dormitory Boys”, as they are now called. Web forums discuss their private lives. National radio and television shows have hosted them. Even their roommate, just visible in the background playing computer games, gets celebrity treatment.