Scientific channel suspends updates after being criticized for posting incomplete Chinese map
Published: Mar 23, 2020 10:48 PM

Photo: Paperclip

 The producer of a Chinese scientific program apologized on Monday for not including the island of Taiwan in its previous program on YouTube, in response to netizens' mounting criticism that the program did so to butter up foreign viewers.

Wu Songlei, producer of Paperclip, which specializes in scientific programs, apologized on his Sina Weibo account. His apology came after many netizens said one of the team's programs, published in 2018, failed to include the island of Taiwan in the Chinese map while the island was shown as part of China on the same program that was broadcast on the domestic channel. 

Wu said that they did not make a double version of the program. They only noticed the map was problematic after their domestic channel, Bilibili, one of the most visited ACG websites in China, removed their video in 2019, because of the map. 

Then the team replaced the video with a complete Chinese map, but the video posted on YouTube remains the same. 

Paperclip strongly recognizes and upholds the one-China principle, Wu wrote, promising they "absolutely did not alter the map on purpose or make a special version for foreign channels."

Wu said they will suspend updating videos, and vowed to re-examine all their videos with maps, to avoid such "inferior mistakes."

Paperclip is a popular science video feeder in China, with more than 2 million fans on Bilibili, and 296,000 subscribers on YouTube. 

However, the team got into hot water not because of its map, but its recent video about deforestation in South America, which was misinterpreted by some fans as "insulting Chinese."

The rainforest video, posted on Bilibili on Saturday, pointed out that China is Brazil's major consumer of beans, and cultivation of beans leads to deforestation. Moreover, before it mentioned China, the voiceover said "humans consume more and more meat," which was also misinterpreted by netizens as "insulting Chinese."

In response to the "insult," many netizens swarmed online to criticize the program, saying the team is "colluding with foreigners to insult China."

The team responded on Sunday urging netizens to remain calm and not to misinterpret their video, but netizens' anger did not subside.

They further dug out the team's 2018 video, which involved the map without Taiwan as a weapon to attack the team.

After the case, many netizens urged the team to stop updating videos completely, as "they were clearly siding with foreign anti-China forces," and "the bottom line of national unity cannot be violated."

But others said the angry netizens were using populism as a weapon to arouse public anger and to crack down on this scientific program. 

Global Times