Beijing Uyghur fake influence campaign

June 2021
Updated: December 2021

A ProPublica/New York Times investigation has revealed that the Chinese government is running an elaborate influence campaign seeking to persuade people that life in Xinjiang is peaceful and happy.

The campaign is mostly in Mandarin or Uyghur and takes the form of thousands of videos, many of which follow the same or similar scripts, and often contain identical phrases.

The videos are run on Chinese media and social media sites including Pomegranate Cloud, which is owned by the official Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily.

The clips are also being distributed on Twitter and YouTube, in some cases with English language captions. The clips do not carry logos and are not labelled as official government communication or propaganda.

In January 2021, the US government publicly declared China was committing genocide in Xinjiang.

Operator: Government of China; Pomegranate Cloud/People's Daily; Global Times
Developer: Government of China
Country: China
Sector: Govt - home/interior; Govt - foreign; Govt - security
Purpose: Confuse/destabilise
Technology: Intelligent agents/bots; Social media
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Opacity: Existence