Update: Air China lawyers send letter to Guardian demanding public apology for misuse of picture
Published: Feb 24, 2021 10:33 AM

Screenshots from The Guardian

Air China on Wednesday demanded a formal public apology from British newspaper The Guardian. It said its lawyers had sent a letter to the newspaper, pointing out that the Guardian's use of a picture of an Air China cargo plane in its report has caused a negative impact on the company's image.

In the report released on Monday, which is related to engine parts that dropped from a Longtail Aviation's Boeing 747 cargo plane in the Netherlands, resulting in injuries, the Guardian used a picture of an Air China cargo plane.

The Guardian later changed the picture, but did not issue an apology. The Chinese Embassy in the UK on Thursday said it noted the change but added that The Guardian has not yet apologized for the false information, urging the media outlet to learn from its misconduct.

The embassy urged The Guardian to abide by the professional ethics of journalism, discard arrogance and prejudice, and report on China and China's development in an objective, fair and balanced manner.

The embassy on Wednesday protested against its misconduct and requested an apology.

However, The Guardian has not yet apologized for the false information and only left a note at the end of the report: "The image on this article was changed on 23 February 2021."

The Chinese Embassy in the UK on Wednesday expressed grave concern over The Guardian's misuse of a Chinese company's logo in its report, and requested that the newspaper make an immediate correction and apologize to the Chinese company affected by its misconduct.

This misuse of the picture was false reporting and misinformation, and affected the image of a Chinese enterprise, the spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson noted that such misinformation is not uncommon in some Western media reports, which betrays their disregard for journalistic ethics and deep-rooted bias against China.

China urges the relevant media to stop seeing China through 'tinted glasses' and view the country and its development in an objective and fair manner, the spokesperson added.

The misinformation also sparked sarcastic remarks and protests on China's social media, with many questioning whether The Guardian was doing it with malicious intent as the Air China logo can be clearly seen in the picture.

"It is not a simply 'misuse' but smearing China," a netizen said.

"Why not just think about how to control COVID-19 in your country, instead of trying all means to smear China," another commented.

Such information comes from the prejudice against China in the West, which has made smearing China a habit among them, some Chinese netizens argued.

"I guess the British media would be not able to see China without tinted glasses," another netizen said sarcastically. 

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