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Current Events

The Chinese Government’s [Latest] Epic Photoshop Fail

By Hanssie on October 31st 2013

In a country with such tightly regulated Internet and technology restrictions, you’d think that they’d hire someone that actually had a working knowledge of Photoshop. Or had eyes.

In an effort to improve the Communist Party’s image, a photo of Wang Hun, the vice-mayor of Ningguo in Anhui province, visiting 103-year-old Cheng Yanchun was released on the government website bearing the caption, Love and consideration for the elderly is a cherished Chinese tradition. They should feel the warmth of the party and the government.


The bizarre photo depicts four giant Chinese officials towering over a tiny shrunken woman. One of the officials has no legs, his torso suspended in mid-air. For a PR team to produce such shoddy work is one thing, but then to allow it to be released into the public, unaware of the glaringly obvious errors, is on another level of epic fails. Almost instantly, the backlash from Chinese bloggers began. The photo was immediately deleted, but as we all know, you can’t delete anything from social media. Ever.

Facing public ridicule and shame, the Ningguo PR department apologized and stated that,  officials did indeed visit Cheng Yanchun, but because her apartment was so small, they couldn’t fit everyone into one single frame and so they merged two images. (Apparently, they don’t have wide angled lenses in China?).

[Rewind: Real VS Fake: Hurricane Sandy and Photoshopped Images]

This isn’t the first time China has been caught with poorly Photoshopped photos in their propaganda. Chinese newspaper, South China Morning Post, published 9 of the worst doctored photos of Chinese officials. Here are a few below:


Miao Zengmin, then party secretary of Jianshan village in Hebei province, is seen floating above fields in this photo from June 2012.


Officials in Zhejiang’s capital Hangzhou inspect a “greening” project in May 2012.


This August 2011 photo on the website of the state-owned Shandong Hi-Speed Group Corporation features floating dignitaries.


A meeting of Shouyang county officials in Shanxi features an additional person in this photo dated June 2011.


Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture officials are seen floating above a new road in a photo from June 2012.


Grateful residents appear Photoshopped as they thank Shaotong police for assisting with the return of their missing motorbike in this October 2012 photo.

I’m sure there are some job openings today in China for a new PR team and a Photoshop expert. No experience needed.

[via @The Telegraph/Images and Captions via @South China Morning Post
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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Alexander Europa

    Clearly, the staff at SLR Lounge doesn’t know that Chinese officials can levitate; it’s part of their training before they take office. :-)

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  4. LetThereBeLight

    So good!!! I am loving all of these” photos”! My favorite is the third one where the scale is so off that they look like giants deciding if they should eat that tree!!!

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  5. Daniel Walldorf

    This is so hilarious! If they accept freelancers from other countries?

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  6. nick squires

    brb moving to china.

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  7. Viktor Arakchiev

    Hilarious! :D

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  8. Jay Callaghan

    WOW. And to think those with real PS skills likely can’t get work.

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