The Chinese government uses numerous social media accounts to spread disinformation to boost its image in front of the world. With the CCP coronavirus damaging its reputation, Beijing has gone into overdrive, putting out post after post praising the Chinese Communist Party for its “timely action” in dealing with the viral outbreak.
Till January-end this year, most of the pro-CCP twitter accounts were engaged in bashing the Hong Kong protestors, calling them spies of foreign governments and a threat to China. By late January, the discussion started to change.
“On Jan. 29, six days after the Chinese central government imposed a lockdown on Wuhan, the influence network suddenly shifted its focus to the coronavirus epidemic. That same day, OneSight announced a new app that tracked virus-related information. The announcement was accompanied by a graphic declaring that OneSight would ‘transmit the correct voice of China’ to the world,” according to ProPublica.
OnSight calls itself one of the leading overseas social media marketing companies in China. When the company says that it will transmit the “correct voice of China,” it essentially means that they will propagate whatever they are paid for. ProPublica’s research revealed that OneSight has a link with the Chinese government. Last year, numerous fake boosting accounts within the pro-Beijing social media influence network were identified promoting OneSight’s posts with likes.
The focus of most of these accounts is to spread propaganda that China has succeeded in controlling the virus, that the West is somehow responsible for creating the virus, and that the second wave of a viral outbreak is of Western origin. U.S. officials have criticized China for its propaganda efforts, with President Trump calling out Beijing for promoting a fake story of the U.S. military bringing the coronavirus into China. Meanwhile, a global movement to call the pandemic the “CCP Virus” has also taken hold, with several media outlets using the term.
“The name holds the CCP accountable for its wanton disregard of human life and consequent spawning of a pandemic that has put untold numbers in countries around the world at risk while creating widespread fear and devastating the economies of nations trying to cope with this disease… After all, CCP officials knew in early December that the virus had appeared in Wuhan, but they sat on the information for six weeks,” according to The Epoch Times.
The data coming out of China is raising red flags among health experts. Officially, China only has about 81,500 cases of infection, which is less than countries like Italy and the U.S. Since the government does not allow external third-parties to verify their data, many argue that the real number of infected people will be far higher. Beijing’s tendency to hide its inefficiencies only strengthens the case.
“The United States must warn the world that this pandemic is still out of control — despite claims by China that it has effectively controlled the outbreak — so the world will not make any misjudgments by [what China says]… WHO has been taking China’s side, saying that China has done a good job [in combating the virus]. But the reality is that the pandemic has become serious all over the world,” Wu Se-chih, adjunct assistant professor at the Taipei College of Maritime Technology, said to The Epoch Times.
Meanwhile, after announcing the opening of theaters, the Chinese government has issued an order to shut them down once again. The Beijing Film Bureau had issued the order without giving any explanations. More than 70,000 theaters in the country have reportedly been closed since January.