These photos show an anti-China protest in Vietnam in 2014 and a fire at a Taiwanese factory in 2020

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Two photos have been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside claims they show Chinese-owned factories in Myanmar being burned by anti-coup protesters. The claim, however, is false; the first photo shows a factory being set ablaze in Vietnam in 2014 and the second photo shows a factory fire in Taiwan in 2020.

The photos were posted on Facebook here on March 14, 2021. The post has since been shared more than 700 times.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on March 15, 2021

The post’s Thai caption translates to English as: “Myanmar is burning, this is the retaliation of the Myanmar people. Chinese factories in Myanmar are left in ruins. The money paid must be returned.”

The post circulated as the Myanmar military, which seized power in a coup against the former civilian government on February 1, 2021, continues its crackdown on anti-coup protests. Here is AFP's latest report on the issue. 

Amid the unrest, Chinese factories in Myanmar were targeted by pro-democracy demonstrators who believe China has sided with the army, as AFP reported here.

The photos were also shared with a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and here.

The claim, however, is false.

A Google reverse image search found that the first photo shows a factory that was set ablaze in Vietnam in 2014. The image was taken by AFP on May 14, 2014, and published here.

The photo’s caption reads: “Smoke and flames billow from a factory window in Binh Duong on May 14, 2014, as anti-China protesters set more than a dozen factories on fire in Vietnam, according to state media, in an escalating backlash against Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in contested waters.”


Below is a screenshot comparison of the first photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the AFP photo (R):

Screenshot comparison of the second photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the AFP photo (R)

The AFP photo was also published in this BBC news report on May 14, 2014. The report is titled: “Vietnam anti-China protest: Factories burnt”.

Another Google reverse image search found the second photo shows a factory fire in Taiwan in 2020. 

The photo was published in this report by Focus Taiwan, Taiwan’s Central News Agency’s English website, on December 20, 2020. 

Screenshot of the report by Focus Taiwan, taken on March 15, 2021

Parts of the report reads: “The fire, which started at the five-story factory of Sci Pharmtech Inc. in Luzhu District and was reported at 12:14 p.m., spread to five nearby factories before it was contained, the Fire Department said.”

Below is a screenshot comparison of the second photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the photo from the Focus Taiwan report (R):

Screenshot comparison of the second photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the photo from the Focus Taiwan report (R)
MYANMAR MILITARY COUP