China mounted a huge campaign on the medical aid and teams sent to Italy in March to help fight the coronavirus. State-media and prominent Chinese political figures worked tirelessly to depict China as Italy’s saviour.

According to Investigative Data published by Italian news outlet Formiche Between March 11 and 23, – 46.3% of tweets on the hashtag #forzaCinaeItalia, which means “come on China and Italy,” were bots.

The other hashtag was #grazieCina, which means “Thank you China.” 37.1% of tweets using this hashtag were bots.

Also the Chinese diplomatic Twitter accounts and Chinese state media , were found to spread fake news, such as the video showing Italian citizens chanting “Thank you China” from their windows on March 14th .

Fact Check

  • The original event was initiated by the Italian people , they applauded at the balcony at 12 noon on March 14th to pay tribute to the Italian medical staff, not to sing Grazie Cina (Thank you China).
  • Event video was uploaded by the Italy’s “AGTW Media on his Facebook page dated 14 March,2020 .

Coronavirus, si applaude dai balconi della Capitale

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎AGTW‎‏ في السبت، ١٤ مارس ٢٠٢٠

  • Searched on YouTube with the keywords “Italy”, “Roma”, “applaud” and “balcony” in Italian, found that the Italian news website Alanews”  uploaded this video on YouTube  March 14th with the caption “Coronavirus, gli applausi di Torino: “La gente come noi non molla mai” means – Coronavirus, the people applause and they never give up .


  • None of the Italian news media reported any news regarding the event where the Italian people applauded at the balcony praising China on March 14th


Thank you China” Video ran by various Chinese twitter users is fully edited and later added voice and there are seven video clips combined together from different video.

China’s medical donations to countries fighting the coronavirus have been accompanied by a massive propaganda campaign aimed at improving China’s image in recipient countries.