Did Xi Jinping Portraits Xi-eld Home From Demolition?

Did a Shanghai homeowner block the demolition of his house by ingeniously plastering it with portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping?

Take a look at the viral photos, and find out what the FACTS really are!


Claim : Xi Jinping Portraits “Xi-elded” Home From Demolition!

Shanghai Observed posted a series of photos, ostensibly of a very clever Shanghai homeowner who used Xi Jinping portraits to “Xi-eld” his home from being demolished!

A Shanghai homeowner was told his home is going to be demolished. His move was to post portraits of Xi all over his house. Now if the house is demolished, Xi’s portrait will also in turn be torn down.

Bloody ingenious of the man, if you ask me!

However, this tale of plucky Chinese ingenuity isn’t quite true…


Truth : Xi Jinping Portraits Did NOT “Xi-eld” Home From Demolition!

While we must all applaud the man for his ingenuity, the story isn’t quite true. Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : This Happened In March 2016

Shanghai Observed posted the photos as if the incident just occurred, and offered no context on when they were actually taken.

The truth is – these photos were taken on Friday, 25 March 2016, which is why NO ONE was seen wearing a face mask in any of the pictures.

Fact #2 : It Was Not A House

According to the Chinese news website ThePaper.cn, the building was not a house, but a pre-fabricated two-storey building in central Shanghai.

It had multiple entrances and was said to be a covered farmer’s market. You can in this picture how large it is, and what looks like multiple storefronts.

This picture shows how the building was divided into multiple stores, suggesting that it was really a commercial building of some sort.

Fact #3 : It Was An Illegal Structure

The 2-storey building was one of the infamous “nail buildings” – unlicensed and illegal structures – constructed across China over the years.

This building was scheduled to be demolished soon, when the owner decided to block its demolition by pasting portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Fact #4 : The Xi Jinping Portraits Were Taken Down

The owner of this two-storey only won a short reprieve. He put them up on Friday, 25 March 2016. Chinese policemen removed them the very next day

Fact #5 : This Xi-ield Was Inspired By The Cultural Revolution

The idea of shielding (or Xi-elding in this case) with a Chinese leader’s portrait goes all the way back to the Cultural Revolution.

Back then, the act of defacing Chairman Mao’s image was considered extremely blasphemous to the zealous Red Guard bands.

So people protected ancient Chinese relics and cultural treasures by covering them with Chairman Mao’s posters.


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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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