They made their own version as they saw his potential appeal.
This after the singer with some Singaporean roots finished in second place in the Sing! China competition in Beijing.
Impressed by his appeal with Chinese audiences, the country’s manufacturers swung into action immediately manufacturing their own version of the newly-minted pop idol and named him “Nathan Lungtono”, making sure there was a family resemblance but tweaking his name to not be seen as pirating completely.
One Chinese, Mao Pai Huo, said: “We are not that particular about the brand name or the fact that it is a carbon copy.”
“We like to add our own design idiosyncrasies and improve on the original to make it better to suit our own tastes.”
“Nathan Hartono is just a prototype. Nathan Lungtono is the real deal.”
Other locals said knockoffs do not represent any problems as long as they deliver the results.
Another Chinese viewer, Jia Huo, said: “‘Originality’ is a Western concept introduced to impede China’s progress to a First World Nation status by putting up barriers to entry that are artificial.”
“We do not have time to entertain such highfalutin ideas. We are functionalists and we do what works for our economy.”
At press time, other knockoff versions include one “Nathan Spleentono” and “Nathan Appendixtono”.