• Thu
  • Jul 31, 2014
  • Updated: 1:34am
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 April, 2013, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Chinese national television falls for April Fools' Day joke - a day late

BIO

Patrick Boehler has written for Foreign Policy, Time, Bloomberg, Le Monde Diplomatique and the Chinese weekly Shidai Zhoubao. He has covered Southeast Asia for the Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung and China's relations with Myanmar for the Myanmese magazine The Irrawaddy, reporting from the trenches of the Kachin civil war and Yangon's tea houses. He began his reporting career in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian online news portal Malaysiakini. Before moving to Hong Kong, he worked for Austria's ministries of defence and foreign affairs in Beijing. He studied in Milan, Vienna, Beijing and Hong Kong.
 

Chinese Central Television’s news channel reported during its Tuesday evening news that Virgin Atlantic, the airline owned by billionaire Richard Branson, was launching the world’s first ever glass-floored air plane.

Embarrassingly, the story was an April Fools' joke, and Chinese netizens were quick to take the national broadcaster to task.

“The new aircraft will offer every passenger the chance of a bird's eye view with an extra special opportunity to look down on the beautiful scenery of Great Britain as they fly,” the company said in a blog post dated April 1.

Virgin did link to a report by the British tabloid The Daily Mirror, which identified the story as a spoof.

Photos of the CCTV report have gone viral on Sina Weibo with thousands of retweets and comments.

“CCTV’s only job is to brainwash, the choice between truth or lies is just a question of editing,” one person commented.

“They find time to attack Apple, but they don’t have time to fact-check, that’s true professionalism,” mocked another person, alluding to CCTV’s public attacks against the computer and cellphone maker for its warranty policy in China.

“If the floor was made of glass, we’d look at the luggage,” another person observed.

Just last month, Xinhua fell for fake Time Magazine cover and the business daily 21st Century Herald said the renowned American economist Paul Krugman was broke. 

In November, The People’s Daily jumped on a report by the satirical website The Onion declaring North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “the sexiest man alive”.

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