Mike Tyson was left dazed and confused by his first foray into the world of Chinese social networking.

Former boxing hard man Tyson got seriously baffled after signing up to China's equivalent of Twitter, named Sino Weibo.

The Hangover actor popped the question to the site's estimated 503m users: "Who's the best fighter in China."

A deluge of ironically humorous responses to Tyson's question said China's most feared was "Chengguan."

Not being familiar with Chinese society or the culture's deadpan sense of humour Tyson, 47, did not know 'chengguan' is a term used for Chinese state officials who enforce local by-laws.

This infamous army of bureaucrats have hit headlines for being less than understanding toward China's citizens. Regularly condemned for their alleged thuggery, they were most recently accused of kicking to death a man in front of his wife for defying a ban on selling watermelons.

Elsewhere, a female street seller in the south Chinese city of Fuzhou was hospitalised after falling foul of the chengguan enforcers.

Tyson replied to Weibo users' gag in all seriousness, saying: "Who is Chengguan? A tough man? I've never heard it."

He followed that up soon afterwards, with: "Many guys talking about cheng guan as a great fighter? Still not a clue about him."

Tyson's posts went around Weibo like wildfire, and were among the most reposted messages on the social network within hours.

Users got in touch with Tyson, but not with the answers to his questions.

"They will be the ones biting your ear," posted one - in reference to the world championship fight during which Tyson bit part of Evander Holyfield's ear off in 1997.

Another joker replied: "You fight others in the ring legally in US, Chengguan fight others in the street legally in China."

One user advised Tyson to find out about Chengguan by "sell[ing] your American hamburgers in our Chinese streets."