Man becomes an online sensation in China -- thanks to a stolen iPhone and selfies with oranges

24 February 2015 / 2 years 4 months ago

An American man lost his iphone last month and somehow his story reached China, resulting in a Chinese man becoming an online internet sensation.

The story began last February when Stopera, a writer for Buzzfeed, lost his iPhone in New York, reports China Daily

His life was peaceful until Feb 5, 2015, when he found pictures of a strange Chinese man appearing on his phone's photo stream.

Looking at photos from the stream, Stopera watched the life of this seemingly random Chinese man.

Everything from what this man likes to eat, where he hangs around and who he meets. Stopera dubbed the man "Bro Orange". 

Turns out Stopera's iPhone was transported to China and the photos of the new owner were sent to his iCloud account.

Stopera immediately cut off the iCloud connection and made his lost phone dysfunctional with the help of the Apple store employees.

Stopera published his lost iPhone story on It was picked up by Chinese netizens and the story took off.

Within one day of his story appearing in China, netizens were able to find "Bro Orange".

Chinese Netizens were able to find a single man in a country of 1.3 billion people based off the details of a few photos.

Stopera was wowed by the response and even wrote a follow up post regarding his phone, "How I became a minor celebrity in China (after my stolen phone ended up there)".

Netizen Libin Feng said the story sounded crazy. An internet user, Jakob Liam Kristensen responded by saying, "The Chinese netizens make Redditors look like kindergarteners when it comes to the power of crowd sourcing."

But "bro Ornage" now has a Weibo account named, named "Bro Orange Who Does Not Sell Oranges", and it has attracted more than 30,000 fans.

Browse through the gallery to see the photos that appeared on Stephora's iPhone. Photos: AcidCow

selfie, funny
Join in the talk