David Beckham's Chinese tattoo inspires amusing Photoshop fakes

April Fool’s Day is just around the corner, so perhaps China’s soccer fans decided to act early and make fun of their favourite star.

When David Beckham lifted up his shirt on Sunday at Peking University to reveal a string of Chinese characters on the left side of his torso, China’s young people cheered and screamed for a rare opportunity to see the popular soccer player's body.

His new tattoo, adapted from a traditional Chinese saying, reads: “Life and death are determined by fate, rank and riches decreed by Heaven.”

This quickly inspired fans who decided to do something more creative.

Above all, it seemed an easy Photoshop job, given that so many young Chinese have such great computer skills.

In re-touched photos exchanged online, Beckham was seen displaying Chinese characters with very different meanings.

In one, the tattoo read “Same-sex friends wanted.”

Another said: “Fake ID cards, call this number…”

Other characters referred to current political issues in China. 

“Giving birth to girls and boys are the same,” read an adapted photo in reference to China’s controversial one-child policy.

“Serve the people,” another re-touched photo recalled a famous political slogan from a Mao Zedong’s speech.


Another one was just one character: “Chai” (拆, tear down), the word commonly seen on old buildings marked for demolition.


The original and fake tattoo photos attracted admiring comments from bloggers on China’s social media on Tuesday.

“I understand why so many people are in love with him,” said one comment.

“His one and only flaw is he is married,” wrote another netizen.

Beckham was invited by the China Football Association to visit for a five-day trip as World Ambassador for Chinese Football.

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