Many of you have probably seen posts and pictures from the skinny Chinese tech goddess with the big fake boobs and short skirts. She has been featured in multiple magazine articles and has a loyal following on Reddit, where here posts have generated tens of thousands of views. She has been described as a maker, a scientist, a cosplayer, and a bombshell. The only issue is that her persona is a construction of a professional electrical engineer who has been living in China for over a decade.
Naomi “Sexy Cyborg” Wu became popular after a few of her posts on Reddit rose to the front page. She had almost everything needed to be a viral star on the Internet. Here was a half-naked Asian woman who was comfortable enough in her body to show off lots of skin. Some of her outfits ranged from provocative to outright trashy, even by China standards. Anyone with good Google skills can do a search for her to find photos that leave very little to the imagination.
Apart from her scantly-clad body and bolted-on breasts, Sexy Cyborg was also sporting some very unique high-tech accessories that she claimed to design and make all by herself. The combination of her tech know-how and short skirts helped her to become an almost instant sensation.
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She has thousands of fans around the world, and has a presence on Twitter, Youtube, Thingiverse. She has submitted interviews to some of the top news agencies in the world and also writes articles for tech blogs like Hackaday, and 3dprintingindustry.
Her story is amazing. She learned English from talking to people online. She learned how to code and used her classmates name to make a great living for herself. She taught herself how to use 3d design software and is an active member of the maker community online. Her workshop looks like it cost thousands of dollars and could belong to someone with a lifetime of experience in the industry. She has videos of herself touring electronics markets in large tech cities located in China, and even shows off some of her tech prowess in her Youtube videos. She has been called an inspiration to young women, and that is where things get a little rocky.
Naomi “Sexy Cyborg” Wu isn’t a tech goddess. She is a mascot.
Sexy Cyborg isn’t Naomi Wu. It is an online persona created by Wu’s boyfriend, who is a seasoned electrical engineer who has used Wu as the face of his operation.
Reddit’s history can be broken up into different eras. Those of us who have been on board for quite some time have seen users come and go. There was a user who used to frequent come of the 3d-design and China subs pretty often. If you do some digging into the reddit archives you may come across a user that goes by the name of “timaz.” This reddit user was very active on reddit, and had many posts where he talked about 3d printing, Shenzhen, and electrical engineering in general.
Sometime around Sexy Cyborgs rise to stardom the content on timaz’s reddit account was deleted. The content on his account was so popular that it received reddit gold, which is an award given from reddit user to reddit user for submitting quality content. Though not expensive, the award does cost money, so one may wonder why the owner of a popular account would go through and delete all the content.
Fortunately the Internet has a way of remembering.
I quick search for the username returns multiple posts on other sites all talking about 3d printing.
So all of a sudden, this very active member in the China maker community who always posted about 3d-printing, CNC, engineering, and general “maker” culture vanishes and in his place appears this busty petite Internet sensation with such an unbelievable story.
Once you start looking at the details it becomes clear that her story is too good to be true. The first red flag to someone familiar with China is just how good her written English skills are. Her presence on reddit includes not only posts, but also responses to questions and comments. She has parlayed her popularity to writing blog posts like the one found herewhere she shows you how to search for parts on Taobao by using Google Translate(which does not work in China. . And also by giving her opinions on the future of the 3d industry.
The grammar and formatting are well beyond a lot of even native English speakers. Wu says she learned English by communicating online, but Internet chatrooms and bbs’s aren’t known for their correct grammar. Her grammar and syntax are impeccable. As someone who has also traveled the world and spent a lot of time in China, it is very rare for even the higher educated Chinese citizens to have her command of the English language. Her command of the English language is so great that apparently she even uses software in English.
While we are talking about China. The Chinese government blocks sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Many Chinese people have never even heard of these sites, much less have their own presence on them. It takes special software to bypass the “Great Firewall” of China, so these sites can be accessed, but China has their own alternatives that seem to be enough for most citizens. Reddit isn’t even a household name in western countries much less China. So it is strange that Naomi is not only familiar with these sites, but also proficient at using them. What is also strange is the lack of Chinese posts by Wu. All the technical posts are in English. The few results that return for a search for Wu in Chinese are mostly just photos of her. Strange that she doesn’t have the same online presence in her home country as she does in the West. We are to believe that this self-taught genius knows how to code, use 3d design software, design circuits, film and edit videos, write articles in perfect grammar for English websites, use photography software and cameras to take expertly framed shots, navigate the social media of other countries, sew, and still have time to fly drones and travel around the world. When asked directly how she funds her projects, Sexy Cyborg claims to be such an adept coder that she has made enough money to pay for a workstation that many tinkerers would dream to have.
Yet when there is actually a video that shows her getting down to business, the video either conveniently has problems
or she almost cuts off her fingers.
Of course there is a video showing her doing some basic soldering on her YouTube page. Seems like a strange thing to show off for such an advanced tinkerer with 18 unique projects submitted to Thingiverse.
So you may ask why my panties are all in a bunch about this faker. Well the thing is she is being heralded as some sort of role model and inspiration for women and girls. She is free and happy with her body, and she was able to make something of herself without the help of any man. Thing is, this is all a lie. She is a mascot for an engineer who has probably been in the industry for more years than Wu has been alive. The massive fake breasts do seem more of something out of a westerners fantasy than something that is common in China. That is probably why she is so unique even in her country, and why locals give her so much attention. You can search around and see the amount of people that pose to take pictures of this specimen.
You almost wonder why this pair would go through the troub-
Sexy Cyborg looks great. I’m happy she is happy with her body. Any critiques of her on reddit are almost instantly hit by white-knights rising to defend the honor of a stranger. I get it. She probably fulfills a lot of fantasies. If that was all she was doing, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. She is not being honest about her capabilities and who is really pulling the strings behind the scene. There is no content actually showing her do anything that someone under the guidance of a trained engineer couldn’t do in front of a camera. She is another examples of what is wrong with the Internet in the modern age. Its not about substance, it is all about clicks. Wu and her boyfriend understand this, and my hat goes off to them for being ahead of the curve. Just don’t tell me this is what passes for inspirational these days.
The couch in this matches the image I posted previously. She just happens to live in the same apartment as Timaz?
I have lived in China for years, so her story didn’t sound legit from my experience. I took the time to watch some of her videos and read some articles that were supposedly written by her, and I was astonished by her level of English and skills. She was just so different than any other person I’ve met here.
I taught here for a while and was hired by some pretty large companies to help their workers learn English. I worked for a factory affiliated with Apple and was brought in to help their workers learn English. Nobody had written English skills like Naomi – by a longshot.
I watched a few videos because I just couldn’t believe it, and when I started questioning things I got a lot of people coming to her defense. A few reached out privately and brought up the name Timaz.
I did previously do some Internet sleuthing with searches for the username Timaz.
https://web.archive.org/web/20171102170458/http://i.imgur.com/KEDhO8M.jpg I also searched for him on other 3d printing boards
https://i.imgur.com/La0ye5n.jpg This post came up, and the user was going to share pics and videos of his workshop in Shenzhen. It would have been perfect if his images matched Naomi’s, but the content had been deleted. The second link was interesting though because it linked to a website that is still up. The website is focused on 360 panorama video. If you check out Naomi’s youtube page, most of her first videos were all 360 panorama videos.
There are many other posts by that username. And the content all talks about Shenzhen, maker community, 3d design, etc. The writing still is of a highly educated American, and there are some similarities with the content in these old posts and with the articles that Naomi “writes”
(you may have to register at this board and search for timaz to see this content)
Besides all this stuff, she just makes references to things found in American culture that even the most educated and well-versed Chinese citizen wouldn’t really know or care about. She talks about printing Yoda heads in an article and references the theft of ideas by Edison in another. These just aren’t things that most Chinese people know. Most educated people here don’t even know that much about their history. It isn’t what is taught in their schools. So her claim that she is self-educated about all this stuff just seems outlandish.
I really find it hard to believe that she afforded her whole lab with her coding abilities, and she learned her written English skills online through chat. I don’t follow her or watch any of her new videos, but I just have doubt that she ever answers any real tech questions live in person. I think most of her interviews have been done via email, and most of the other inconsistencies I already documented in the blog post.
I really felt guilty about all the negative responses I got, so I was going to delete the sub and all the posts until I saw someone had it taken down. I dug around for updates and found they had started a Patreon to get money, and this really got me aggravated.
Her pastebin bio states
*What is your job? I am a web developer. Mostly using Ruby on Rails but transitioning to JS. I primarily do software but I have a little bit of exposure to hardware- Arduino and 3D printing. I am passionate about Open Source. I work at home doing freelance work for overseas companies. None of my clients know about my online persona. I’m keeping it that way until I see what sort of direction things take me and if there are any significant negative repercussions. That being said, coding is becoming increasingly challenging given the Internet access issues we have here in China so I may transition to something else.
https://pastebin.com/V3474kYs Her new Patreon states:
Why sponsor me? I don’t buy frivolous things or lead any kind of a glamorous lifestyle. Whatever you sponsor it won’t be wasted. You can see my lifestyle pretty clearly from my videos- most of my income goes to tools and stuff for my builds, My actual job is web development, I work online and am not the best so can only charge local rates- that means 60hr weeks and not a lot of days off. I’m hoping that some people out there enjoy my content and can afford to help out. So does she work for overseas companies or does she work for local rates.
She didn’t really get any pushback besides the blog I wrote, so it seems she changed her story from “I can afford this lifestyle and these tools because of my freelance work” to “please give me money because I am a poor Chinese girl who is trying to save the world.”
How does she know so much about buying stuff in the west? She should not have the frame of reference to compare.
Don’t Bargain Hunt The “get it cheaper” part is already done with when you made your choice to use TaoBao instead of a distributor back in the West. Further attempts to save money will result in problems. Everyone on Taobao sources from the same factories, if an identical or very similar product is much cheaper there’s a reason for it. Look at the top five most popular listings for a part, the average price of those or higher is what you can expect to pay. While there are certainly challenges to sourcing on TaoBao, for any hardware enthusiast the vast, and frequently customizable selection available make it a very useful resource and skill set to have should the need arise.
It really bothered me that she was being held up as this inspiration for little girls and women. I wouldn’t have had any issues if she would just have said that she gets help or that her boyfriend shows her how to do the technical stuff.
The other links I have found on Timaz contain his thoughts and advice on printing and China. There is probably some overlap between his posts as Timaz and “her” posts.