China and North Korea are intimately linked. Not only do the two Asian countries share a border and Communist ideals, but it seems that both share a penchant for poorly photoshopping official photos.
North Korea is known for, among many things, not being able to master the art of seamlessly photoshopping the official photographs it sends around the world, but its only ally may be just as bad. Most recently, a comically bad photoshopped image published by the local government in the central Chinese city of Ningguo, in Anhui province, has been making its way around Chinese social media, rivaling North Korea’s Photoshop fails. The photo, which can be seen below, features the ghostly figure of the deputy mayor of the city, along with fellow officials dressed casually, looming over a superimposed and resized image of an elderly resident. The photo was published to show the deputy mayor, Wang Hun, and the other officials meeting with the city’s residents, like the centenarian pictured.
Authorities quickly realized their mistake in publishing the photo, deleted it from their official publications and released an apology from the employee reportedly responsible after bloggers relentlessly mocked the local government’s Photoshop job.
In the statement, officials confirmed that Wang did visit centenarians during a Chinese holiday, but an employee decided to merge two different photos from the visit because they didn’t have original photos that included everyone in the shot. “Cheng [the elderly woman] was sitting on a chair on the balcony, under the sun. The balcony space was very small, and the camera lens could not cover the whole scene… When the employee of the municipal civil affairs department uploaded the photos… he simply merged two shots,” the government said in response.
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“We express deep regret to Internet users for its negative influence. … We will learn from the experience, to improve civil affairs work.”
You would think that the world’s second-biggest economy wouldn’t spend time trying to doctor photographs, or at least would be able to better disguise it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time China’s been caught photoshopping official pictures. The South China Morning Post published a series of some of the country’s worst Photoshop jobs -- below are a just a few: