Expats deny international media reports of China Christmas ban

Published:  26 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: Canada, China
Beijing expats are rubbishing reports in the international media that the Chinese government has banned Christmas.

China was accused by a number of highly-regarded international media outlets of cracking down on Christmas celebrations across the country. Once the news broke it went viral on Twitter, with expats decrying articles and TV coverage as ‘absolute BS’ and quoting their own and local Christmas celebrations as evidence. Many called the reports ‘fake news’, citing massive malls crammed with Chinese in Santa costumes, Christmas trees on every corner and Christmas songs blaring out.

The truth is that the reports were guilty of exaggeration rather than totally made up, as anti-Christmas sentiment is found in some smaller Chinese towns but not in the first-tier cities with their massive expat communities. Other tweets accused the Chinese government of persecuting Christians as well as attempting to cancel the Christmas season in its entirety. Expatriates’ views are straightforward in that the media have reported on smaller towns’ rejections of what is essentially an excuse to overspend and overeat, but deny the generalisation of the articles.

One Canadian expat in Beijing told local media what he tells his family, saying China isn’t how it’s portrayed on CNN. Others reported they’d been given prettily-decorated Christmas trees by their local restaurant and others described the extravagant Christmas decorations covering almost all the interior of their local mall. Xmas, they said, was everywhere, and was almost too much as a result! Another expat living in Shanghai found the controversy disturbing, saying overseas media outlets are becoming click-baity in their search for sensational headlines. He added his local Christmas market drew hundreds of revellers, all of whom were busily taking selfies.
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