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Chinese State Media Promotes ‘Peaceful Getaway’ in China Using Video of Swiss Alps

Who knew Swiss Alps could be found in China?

Credit: michelphotographych/YouTube/@ChinaDaily/Twitter

Chinese state media decided to promote the beautiful mountains of China as a tourist spot by using a video of the Swiss Alps. 

We’ve all experienced some holiday disappointment now and again. Perhaps the hotel we booked looked nothing like the images online, or the picturesque coastal view we were promised just doesn’t exist. But China Daily, a state-controlled media source, went one step further after they posted a video of the Swiss Alps to Twitter. 

The account posted the video using #GlamorChina, noting that the town nestled at the foot of an unnamed Chinese mountain would make the perfect “peaceful getaway”.

However, eagle-eyed Twitter users soon rumbled China Daily’s lie, after it was pointed out the clip was taken from a Youtube video uploaded by Sylvia Michel. Michel is a photographer based in the beautiful village of Brienz in Switzerland, which boasts breath-taking views of the Alps – which are over 4,000 miles from China. 

Credit: @ChinaDaily via Twitter

After flipping and re-shading the video, China Daily believed they could pass the video off as a remote Chinese village. Although there are no other humans in the video, there is one thing China Daily failed to consider (which would unravel their lie); the dog. 

The cute white German Shepherd strolling down the road is none other than Rasta – who is somewhat of an Instagram celebrity. 

Sylvia soon caught wind that her images had been stolen by China Daily and quickly (and quite rightfully) spoke her mind on the situation:

Credit: @michelphotoCH via Twitter

Michel, and other Twitter users alike, followed up with links to the original video posted to YouTube:

Credit: michelphotographych via YouTube

In response to having her content used without her consent, Sylvie said the following: 

Thanks for all the comments here and for the support. Yes, it’s not legal to just take a video and post it on a channel – no matter who it is.

Someone went to the trouble of recording this video, drove somewhere, maybe hiked for a few hours, edited the video, picked out the appropriate licensed music for it, etc.

There is a lot of work behind a video or even a picture. Respect the work of artists, photographers, videographers and don’t take it just because you can. Try to show your own view of the world – that’s what makes you! I encourage you to do so!

China Daily does not appear to have made a comment about the misleading advertisement. Let’s hope they learnt not to steal people’s images and pass them off as their own, and to never underestimate the internet’s obsession with dogs. 

If you’d like to support Sylvie check out her various social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. If you’re also interested in her furry companion, check out Rasta’s Instagram.

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Content Writer and freelance journalist with an MA in Creative Writing. Passionate about films, books and general media.

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