The internet recently raised its collective eyebrows after Chinese state media claimed that online shopping, high-speed rail, bike sharing and electronic payment systems are China’s “four new great inventions.”
Last week, government-run Xinhua News Agency said the country deserved credit for the discoveries, comparing them to the innovations of ancient China: compass, gunpowder, paper, and printing.
According to SCMP, the so-called “four new great inventions” were based on last year’s research conducted by the Silk Road Research Institute. In a survey, China’s foreign students from 20 countries near the “Belt and Road Initiative” were asked to pick China’s “four new inventions” that they want their home countries to use.
Xinhua’s article noted that “Among the four, high-speed rail and online shopping aren’t from China, but we bring the inventions to the world’s top level with our intelligence and innovation and make them China’s calling card.”
However, just a little research will show that not one of the claimed inventions originated from China.
Online shopping was invented and pioneered by Michael Aldrich in the U.K. in 1979, while the Japanese operated the first modern high-speed rail in 1964.
Meanwhile, E-payment systems have been utilized in the United States since the 1990s, while bike-sharing services were already a thing in Europe way back in the 1960s.
CCTV also tweeted about China’s “four great new inventions,” but Twitter users happily pointed out the erroneous claim.
“Does China even know the Meaning of Invention? All are Copied from Japan, USA & other parts of the World,” one Twitter user pointed out.
“Your grasp of world history is breathtakingly absent,” another one wrote.
It has since deleted the tweet but it has been screen captured and widely shared on Chinese social media where netizens had a field day in poking fun at the media for claiming ownership of other countries’ innovations.
“To me, it looks that Chinese state media is showing the rest of the world the government’s ignorance of intellectual property rights,” wrote one Weibo user in Chinese.
“Trump just signed a memorandum to investigate China’s theft of intellectual properties. And CCTV seems so cooperative on the US side. Does it have any political awareness?” another one commented.
Feature image via Xinhua