Alibaba; no I’m not talking about the folklore Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Rather, I am talking about the online shopping site where you can get anything under the sun.
This business — similar to Amazon — was founded in Hangzhou by billionaire Jack Ma (the guy who ate Maggi Mee for lunch) in 1999.
Last month, CNBC International uploaded a video about Alibaba on social media.
Here is the video
It is about 4 minutes long but I urge you to watch it.
So any thoughts?
The host talks and praises Alibaba’s success over the years and yadah yadah yadah, but what caught my attention was the backdrop of the video.
It looks awfully similar to a place we all know of.
Look at this:
The video talks about Alibaba, a company that was founded in China.
The backdrop has no link whatsoever to what the host was saying.
Oh wait, is there?
Looking at the screengrabs, it was filmed in our very own backyard, Chinatown.
The subtlety…well, it’s not subtle after all.
The heavy Chinese motifs — the color red, Chinese signage, and lanterns were heavily used as if they expect the viewers to believe it was filmed in China.
Many people from the west assume that Singapore is in China (I even have friends from Europe who thought Singapore is off the coast of China); it doesn’t help break this archaic stereotype when a reputable media company as CNBC International pulls this kind of stunt.
If you’re not convinced it is Singapore, look at what the host is paying with!
10 SING DOLLARS.
I can recognise that red note from a mile away.
Netizens were also less than pleased with the video
To top it off, one netizen noticed an inaccurate report in the video.
The last time we checked, planet Earth has only 195 countries.
It isn’t the first time (and I am sure it won’t be the last) Singapore is mistaken to be part of China.
In 2014, Hilton Worldwide posted a tweet, thinking Singapore is in Shanghai:
They were quick to correct their mistake after Singapore’s Changi Airport’s Twitter account called them out.
I don’t know about you, but I’m way past being angry. Instead I find it laughable, as it only reflects their ignorance.
All in all, the video was poorly executed and it overshadows Alibaba’s success and achievements.
CNBC, please sort this out.
Featured Image: CNBC International Facebook