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Kobe Bryant lookalike gains 500K followers in 2 weeks


Getty Images, TikTok

A Kobe Bryant lookalike in China has gained over 600,000 followers and earned thousands in revenue by impersonating the late NBA legend.

Ma Jinghui, 21, from the southwestern province of Yunnan, earned $12,000 in just 10 days by impersonating Kobe Bryant in live-streams.

The young Kobe fan saw his follow count soar on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

In his videos, Ma wears dark makeup, Bryant’s iconic No 24 jersey, and says in English: “Man, I’m back.”

Ma calls himself the “Chinese version of Kobe Bryant” and consistently draws over 100,000 viewers for each live-session.

His fan base on Douyin grew from a few thousand to 600,000 in just 2 weeks.

A fan told Ma he looked like the NBA icon and suggested he shave his head and impersonate Kobe to boost his followers.

Ma shaved his head, applied dark make-up, and started live-streaming with a basketball in hand.

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“When Ma smiles, I can see my idol Kobe, and I miss him so much,” a follower said.

“Just seeing him sitting here, I’m moved to tears,” said another follower.

Ma, who was initially a game streamer, said he’s surprised by the worldwide attention.

“I hope to earn more money, buy a car for my dad and get my sister a new phone,” he said.

“I’m now learning English to pay a better tribute to Kobe Bryant,” he added.

Kobe was 41 when he, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and 7 other people died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California.

A statue of Kobe and Gianna was placed at the crash site. Another statue honoring Kobe was placed outside Crypto.com Arena last month.

The NBA legend still has over 10 million followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of X/Twitter.

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