The mark of a dedicated individual is someone who's willing to do anything in order to make something work. And it's that doggedness in the pursuit of new ideas and being undeterred by multiple failures that separate successful individuals from those who just ... settle. So when John Cena wanted to break the WWE into the Chinese market, he decided to learn Mandarin. And he got darn good at it.
That's right, John Cena speaks Mandarin.
Back in 2016 Cena set the internet abuzz when a clip surfaced of him at a historic press conference giving an entire speech in Mandarin. It endeared him to Chinese investors and potential WWE viewers and fans in the country and was a true breakout moment for the star who, despite his overwhelming success in the pro-wrestling organization and tireless work ethic, was oft-joked about by diehards.
Why did John Cena apologize to China?
Now a recent clip he posted on Chinese social media network Weibo, offering an apology to what seems like the entirety of China as a whole, is reminding folks all over again that he's not only fluent in Mandarin, but he's gotten even better at speaking the language.
Seriously, just watch the below clip and see for yourself.
John Cena apologized because he referred to Taiwan as a "country" while doing promotional work for Fast and Furious 9, where he stars as Vin Diesel's brother. He stated that Taiwan would be the first "country" to view the film in theaters, and the reason why that's such a big deal is because the region has been lobbying for sovereignty from China since 1949. China, however, is adamant that Taiwan belongs under the umbrella of their nation.
In the video he says, "I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you," as per the South China Morning Post.
To supporters of China's sovereignty over Taiwan, it would seem like John Cena is identifying the region as its own country, which means Cena's politically siding with Taiwan.
However, Cena wanted to make it known to China that he wasn't trying to engage in a political discourse, which then, in turn, offended folks who are in favor of Taiwan being its own country.
It didn't take long for folks to start pointing out the mass killings, war crimes, and other atrocities that China perpetuated against people from Taiwan following World War II. Others expressed that they felt like John Cena was "bending the knee" so to speak to the country for one thing and one thing only: grabbing those big market bucks.
Here's the thing: China allows only 34 foreign films per year to screen in its theaters, meaning that any movies from outside of the country that are shown there don't have much competition in their respective genres and have a higher chance of being watched by the nation's nearly 1.4 billion population.
Hollywood filmmakers have been lobbying to curry favor with the Chinese government for access to this business sector. It's why a film like The Meg had prominent Asian characters featured in an infallible light and even though the movie was a critical disaster, it still grossed over half a billion worldwide, with $152,000,000+ of that emerging from China alone.
The Rock's Skyscraper was set in China and featured Hong Kong actors in the cast, and helped paved the way for Hobbs & Shaw to enter China's box office. The film didn't perform well domestically but clocked in around $186 million from China.
The Fate of the Furious earned a whopping $392 million in the Chinese box office, so Cena's apology is being perceived as a means of ensuring his upcoming mega release wasn't missing out on a huge pay day.