When China spreads Russian disinformation about the Russia – Ukraine War

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The latest widespread disinformation on China’s internet, backed by state affiliated media: “Russian foreign ministry spokesperson clarifies that the person arrested under the Azov steel plant it not Hunter Biden. It’s someone more valuable.”

The news allegedly came from Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Zakharova, who, of course, never actually said it. This disinformation is particularly interesting because it is a combination of two other popular disinformation that’s been spreading on China’s internet lately

For days there’s been rumors, which cited Russian media, circulating that a “big fish” was captured under the steel plant in Mariupol, where heavy fightings are happening between Russian and Ukrainian troops.

The “big fish” has been allegedly identified as a Canadian general, a NATO senior official, US bio-lab scientists, and…Hunter Biden. Some versions of the disinformation say it’s one of them. Other versions say there are more than one fish and it’s all of them together.

Last week, another piece of disinformation got pretty popular on WeChat. It claimed that all international media will report “at 11 am tomorrow” that Biden has resigned, Harris will take his position, and Hunter Biden has been arrested under the steel plant in Mariupol.

Lately, these two disinformation has morphed into the new one where Russia has allegedly denied the rumor that the person captured was Hunter Biden. It’s been reported by state affiliated media Phoenix TV and other news sites.

Since the war in Ukraine started, China has helped spread Russian propaganda and disinformation verbatim. Almost everything was imported from Russian media. With the Hunter Biden one, maybe we are finally seeing some originality?

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