These bunnies known as Tuzki (兔斯基), are the latest to steal the hearts of Chinese netizens.
Simplistic, noseless and mouthless, these bunnies have been hot on Chinese internet, particularly with QQ and MSN users since the beginning of 2007. Wang Momo, a student in animation department of Beijing Broadcasting Institute created this popular lagomorph.
Wang Momo created this character to be able to write her diary in a graphic form. Her friends and classmates always nicknamed her “rabbit” as well. The first Tuzki was very simple, and just waved his arms and shook his head. Then Momo created more pictures and small animations for this character based on her real life experiences. To date, Tuzki has 39 different expressions. And thanks to the 150,000,000 Tecent QQ users and 20 million MSN messenger users in China, the popularity of Tuzki also generates income for this young woman. She is now designing Tuzki posters and postcards, which will take the rabbit beyond the definition of an internet idol.
The use of cartoon icons when chatting with others via MSN Messenger is considered an internet phenomenon started by the younger generations in China. At first it started with Yoyo & Cici (悠嘻猴), a launch by Chinajoy at the beginning of 2006, driven by commercial purposes. Later in 2006, the cartoon Onion replaced the Yoyo & Cici Monkeys to be the most popular internet icon. Currently, Tzuki is the new fad.
[Extracts from Shanghaiist]