Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion, has joined Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, and has released a video in which he says "Ni hao" to his new audience, Shanghaiist has learned.
"Ni hao" is a Chinese greeting that's akin to "hi" or "hello." (Some might expect Snoop to greet China with something closer to "what up," but perhaps some nuances of American street culture get lost in translation.)
Why Weibo? According to Reuters, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms popular abroad are blocked in China.
In light of that censorship, one has to wonder how Snoop's pro-marijuana stance and newfound Rastafarian faith are going to play with Chinese authorities. Marijuana possession is illegal in China, and the government has been criticized for giving the death penalty to drug offenders.
It's worth noting that Snoop refers to himself as Snoop Dogg, not Snoop Lion, in the video. He appears before a Chinese flag wearing a Rastafarian hat, but his Weibo handle is shown as "Snoop_DoggCN."
Snoop Dogg embraced Rastafarianism and changed his name to Snoop Lion following a spiritual awakening in Jamaica earlier this year.
"I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion," he said at a press conference.