Satirical video about China's motorcycle restrictions is doctored from Korean TV advert

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A video has been viewed thousands of times in multiple posts on Twitter, Facebook and Weibo that claim it shows a Korean news presenter laughing about a motorcycle ban in China. The video, however, appears to have originated as satire: it has been doctored from a Korean television commercial that has circulated online since at least 2014.

The video was published here on Twitter on March 31, 2021.

It has been viewed more than 17,000 times.

A logo for Korean broadcasting company KBS is visible in the video's top left-hand corner.

The clip shows a Korean news presenter try to stop herself from laughing while reading the news. Eventually, her colleague takes over the newscast.

Screenshot captured on April 13, 2021, of the misleading Twitter post

The post’s caption, also written in simplified Chinese language, reads: “South Korea reported that "motorbikes are prohibited" in many places of a certain country [China], and the South Korean host laughed...Is it funny? ! Suddenly I like Koreans a little bit again (laughing emoji)”.

According to simplified Chinese subtitles superimposed on the footage, the woman says: “Some Chinese cities ban citizens from riding motorcycles, saying that they cause pollution and obstruct traffic. However, cities that ban motorcycles are actually more congested.”

“Obstruct traffic”, her male colleague says, according to the subtitles.

Images displayed during the broadcast show motorcyclists. The accompanying Chinese text reads “China motor riding day” and “Motor travel week”. 

Various Chinese cities have for years imposed restrictions on motorcycles as part of a drive against traffic accidents and crime.

Some of the latest bans include the northeast cities of Jinzhou and Shijiazhuang, where motorcycles are not allowed in certain urban areas.

The video, however, is misleading: the footage has in fact been doctored from a Korean TV commercial.

Korean advert

A keyword search found a longer version of the video posted here on YouTube on November 4, 2014. The video is titled: “Clear Sky Bellflower Tea, Fine Dust Broadcasting Accident, Binggrae Viral Advertisement Video”.

AFP found the webpage for the commercial on the official site of Binggare here, although the video has been removed.

Clear Sky Bellflower Tea is a product by Korean brand Binggrae, which originally advertised the drink in a humorous commercial that was presented as a mock news report.

The Chinese subtitles superimposed on the video in the misleading posts are an inaccurate translation of what is said in the clip.

In the original commercial, a weather presenter is heard forecasting that a dust storm is due to hit South Korea. During the report, her voice cracks several times, apparently due to the dust, prompting the female newscaster to laugh. 

“For fine dust like this, bronchial tubes,” the newscaster says, before giggling. “A convenient tea drink that people can easily drink has been launched. It is expected to greatly benefit citizens.”

Her male colleague can then be heard saying: “Let’s move on to the next news item.”

“I apologise for the interruption caused by Jeong Mi-yeon, who has a bad throat today,”he says. “Why don't you drink Clear Sky Balloon Flower Tea? It’s good for relieving thirst when your throat hurts from fine dust.”

The commercial video has previously been doctored to add various pictures and Chinese characters, including here and here.

The clip was also altered to appear to show a Malaysian legislative assembly member promoting a Covid-19 “cure” involving "antidote water" made from chanting scripture, which can be seen here, here and here.