Are new Chinese characters still being invented?

The following is a bit of a troll/famous meme.

Jackie Chan has often been credited with being “the only celebrity who has invented a new Chinese character with his name,” and that is the character DUANG.

(People even made a written character for it; it is actually “Cheng Long” (Jackie’s Chinese stage name) written together.)

There is an infamous shampoo brand in China named “Bawang” and Jackie was a spokesperson for it. In one of the advertisements for it, Jackie said the following quote:

“When I was hired to make this shampoo advertisement, at first I wanted to refuse. Because I thought, I can’t just act it out immediately, I gotta try the product first. I don’t want an advertisement to come out put on lots of special effects, and my hair go DUANG~ Its looks really black, really bright, really soft. Then the audience will get mad at me, say hair can’t be like that, it is all fake…”

(Jackie’s original advertisement)

The meme stated that “duang” is a newly invented word used to describe this flowing, bouncy hair. Normally such a character or pronunciation doesn’t exist in the current Chinese vocabulary. I’ve heard some people explain that…

  1. Jackie was actually saying 动啊 (dong-a) really quick, which meant “moving.”
  2. The sound was purely an onomatopoeia, and Jackie used it to describe special effects to make his hair bouncy.

Someone remixed Jackie’s statement into a song, and the legendary meme began from there.

I believe the shampoo brand is still in business, though there’s been a lot of controversy they’ve faced, and they are not exactly the most popular product in the market. Some people reported that, despite the product being advertised for hair-loss prevention, it actually made the user lose more hair.

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