Beijing (CNN)If you've never heard of eight-year-old Gavin Thomas, you clearly aren't one of the millions of people around the world who have fallen in love with the young internet sensation.
How an eight-year-old American boy became a viral sensation in China
But it isn't in his native United States where Gavin has really hit the big time, that honor belongs to China.
Since creating a profile a mere four months ago on Weibo, a Chinese platform similar to Twitter, Gavin has gained an astonishing 1.8 million followers -- and the number continues to grow, along with his fame. On Twitter, by comparison, Gavin has a mere 450,000 followers.
Why is a young American, born in Minnesota and still in elementary school, an instant sensation in the largest country in the world? It's because of Gavin's unique facial expressions, which have become a hugely successful, viral meme.
Gavin first made a name for himself in the US, when short videos of him playing with his uncle Nick Mastodon quickly became a hit online.
But it wasn't until Gavin's videos spread organically to the Chinese cyberspace, particularly one of him reacting with a nervous smile to a gecko being placed on his head, that his fame truly took off.
A gif of Gavin's face, smiling awkwardly, might be used as many as 10 million times a day across China's various social media platforms, according to Ann Ding, founder and CEO of Dongtu.com, a major distributor of online gifs, told CNN.
"Gavin seems to be more popular in China than in the US," Ding said. She'd know -- her company partners with major Chinese social media platforms affiliated with Tencent and Alibaba.