’Little Apple’: The hit song all of China is singing

Paramilitary soldiers dance to a song by the “Chopsticks Brothers.”

Paramilitary soldiers dance to a song by the “Chopsticks Brothers.”

BEIJING: Has China found its own “Gangnam Style“? From Beijing parks to Shanghai skyscrapers and in Guangzhou factories to karaoke rooms in Macau, people are singing “Little Apple” — a song apparently so catchy it has even won over the army and police.

Calling themselves the “Chopsticks Brothers,” Xiao Yang and Wang Taili are neither brothers nor composers, but are responsible for a hit that has become a nationwide phenomenon.

“Xiao Pingguo” (Little Apple) was originally intended to promote their latest film when it was released in July, but has proven to be an earworm — the kind of song so insistent it gets stuck in the brain.

“This song is easy to follow, the pace is basic and repetitive. Even the old ladies in public gardens are learning it quickly,” said Zeng Qiumei, a marketing manager from Sichuan province.

The accompanying music video has notched up more than 50 million views on Chinese video sites such as Sohu, iQiyi and Youku.

The surreal six-minute clip begins with a botched plastic surgery operation before cutting to Xiao and Wang.

The lyrics are largely nonsense, with the chorus running “You’re my little apple, you’re my little apple.”

Even so, and perhaps aided by relaxed attitudes toward intellectual property in China, the tune has become ubiquitous — whether playing on smartphone ringtones to shopping malls, nightclubs and gyms.

The People’s Liberation Army in the city of Xian has used the song in a recruitment video, while police in Shandong last month modified the lyrics for a broadcast warning about phone-banking scams.

“We changed the words to make people aware,” a police officer said in comments broadcast on CCTV.

And a clip showing soldiers dancing to “Xiao Pingguo” with child survivors of an August earthquake that killed 600 people in the southwest became an online sensation.


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