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News > China

Videos of Chinese ‘Crackdown’ in Hong Kong Revealed as Fake by AFP Investigation

  • Fake news online

    Fake news online | Photo: Flickr

Published 31 July 2019

AFP debunks false images and videos supposedly showing Chinese repression in Hong Kong. 

A fact-check investigation by AFP published Tuesday has debunked a number of images and videos purporting to show repression carried out by Chinese troops in Hong Kong. These images were circulated widely on social media, some of them being viewed over a million times, yet many were fake or old. 

Different country

These are images from a video, posted by opposition activists in Hong Kong, claiming to be the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) attacking protesters in the city.

However, the footage is from riot police training in South Korea from 2012. It first appeared in foreign media in 2014 when British newspaper Daily Express posted the video with the caption: “WATCH: Korean police show France how to stop a riot with ancient military masterclass”

Not Hong Kong

This widely circulated video claims to show PLA troops at a bus station, which commentary says is Hong Kong, aimed at causing panic about military reinforcements entering to carry out a crackdown.

However, AFP showed that geolocation was at a railway station in the Chinese mainland, in the city of Guangzhou, whose station looks similar to that of Hong Kong. 


This video circulated claiming to show "Communist Party's troops entered and garrisoned Hong Kong," in July 2019. However, the images were from a youtube video of a routine troop rotation in 2012. 

Venezuela has also been a target of fake images. AFP carried out another fact-checking investigation in March, proving that widely shared images showing a ‘crisis’ in Venezuelan hospitals were in fact fake, including some images from hospitals in the Dominican Republic.

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