Can You Buy China Spy Balloon On Alibaba For $18?!

Can you buy the infamous spy balloon from China on Alibaba for just RMB 118 / $18?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : You Can Buy China Spy Balloon On Alibaba For $18!

Pro-CCP netizens are trying to push the narrative that the infamous spy balloon from China is really a cheap weather balloon that anyone can buy from Alibaba!

They are sharing a screenshot of an Alibaba store on WhatsApp and social media platforms, claiming that you can buy the same “spy balloon” for just RMB 118 / $18!

You can buy this balloon to scare the US for 118 RMB.. warning fighter jets might be sent to shoot it down..

Read more : Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!


Truth : You Cannot Buy China Spy Balloon On Alibaba For $18!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) or pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Chinese Balloon Was Not A Weather Balloon

First, let us start with a basic fact – the US Air Force shot down a spy balloon from China, not a weather balloon.

Weather balloons are common – thousands are launched daily across the world to collect information on the temperature, wind and moisture in the upper atmosphere.

Weather balloons are not very large – expanding from 6 feet (1.8 metres) to 20 feet (6 metres) in diameter as they rise in altitude. Their payloads are also small, consisting of a small box with a few sensors.

The Chinese spy balloon that the US Air Force shot down was not only much larger at around 90 feet (27.5 metres) wide, it also had a very large payload that included large solar panels, and even propellers to control its movement.

Real weather balloons also do not travel far – they generally go up to a high altitude and stay there. Spy balloons, on the other hand, need to travel long distances. This Chinese balloon travelled thousands of kilometres from China to Alaska to Canada, before reaching the continental United States.

Recommended : Did Four Taiwan F-16 Fighters Just Defect To China?!

Fact #2 : RMB 118 Weather Balloon Is Small

I traced the viral photo to this Alibaba store selling latex weather balloons. As expected, the RMB 118 / $18 balloon that pro-CCP netizens were promoting is small…

The store offered four sizes, with slightly elevated prices in US dollars (it’s cheaper in Chinese Yuan):

  • 48 inches (4 feet) : $4.80
  • 72 inches (6 feet) : $6.40
  • 96 inches (8 feet) : $17.80
  • 120 inches (10 feet) : $23.60

As I pointed above, the spy balloon that flew from China all the way to the United States was about 90 feet (27.5 metres) wide. It’s roughly 729X larger than the weather balloon sold on Alibaba!

Fact #3 : Viral Photo Was Edited

The viral photo appears to have been edited, by taking a screenshot of the Alibaba store using a mobile phone, and combining it with a photo of the actual spy balloon from China.

The intent appears to make it look like they are both the same balloon, and are being sold on Alibaba for just RMB 118 / $18.

The truth is – the actual Alibaba store does not show any photos of the spy balloon from China, which has a large payload platform and solar panels.

Instead, the Alibaba store only shows this photo of a latex weather balloon being held by a man – a good indication of just how small it is, compared to the real spy balloon. The other photos in the Alibaba store shows the available balloon sizes, and how much they weigh.

Recommended : Chinese Spies Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

Fact #4 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

This is just another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), or pro-CCP netizens.

All of the wumao articles and videos that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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