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  • Which of these two maps is correct?

  • It depends who you ask.

  • Most countries don't recognize China's territorial claims.

  • But China is trying to change that.

  • By slowly changing the maps you see around the world.

  • Welcome back to China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • This episode is sponsored by MOVA Globes.

  • This is the coolest globe you'll ever own.

  • But there's one thing that most people buying it won't notice...

  • but China Uncensored viewers will.

  • And some of you already have.

  • It turns out, there's no single, standard map of the world

  • at least not from the perspective

  • of the world's roughly 200 countries.

  • Not every country agrees on where the borders are.

  • For example, India has border disputes

  • with both Pakistan and China,

  • so each of those countries

  • has its own version of the world map.

  • And most notably, the People's Republic of China

  • thinks they own the entire South China Sea.

  • That's why, on China's official maps,

  • they draw this Nine-Dash Line.

  • Everything inside belongs to China...

  • including the entire country of Taiwan,

  • which is also claimed by the People's Republic of China.

  • Plus, China's map claims this giant chunk of India's

  • Arunachal Pradesh state.

  • China calls itSouth Tibet.”

  • The important thing here is that while

  • this is China's current official map,

  • pretty much no other country's government agrees.

  • In fact, in 2016, an international tribunal in The Hague

  • rejected China's claims to the South China Sea.

  • That made it official.

  • Except that China rejected the Hague's ruling...

  • and then ramped up its own plans to

  • quietly change the rest of the world's maps.

  • That's why when you look at a map printed in China,

  • it looks like this.

  • Here's a closeup.

  • As you can see, this globe has the Nine-Dash Line,

  • and Taiwan is the same color as mainland China.

  • So wait...why is China Uncensored sponsored by a company

  • that prints China's version of the map on its globes?

  • Turns out, it's a crazy story.

  • It all started a few months ago.

  • Shelley, Matt, and I were at a museum in Norway.

  • And we saw these MOVA Globes in the gift shop.

  • I thought, “Cool, that's our sponsor!”

  • And then I looked more closely.

  • On each globe, I could see China's Nine-Dash Line.

  • I was surprised,

  • because *this* is the globe MOVA had sent us before,

  • when they sponsored America Uncovered.

  • It does *not* have the Nine-Dash Line.

  • Some of our viewers also contacted us

  • and said they noticed the Nine-Dash Line on their own MOVA globes.

  • So we emailed MOVA and asked them what was going on.

  • And they told us their fascinating story

  • of Chinese censorship and crippling fines.

  • MOVA International is an American company based in San Diego.

  • But their globes use a lot of complicated high-tech parts

  • that are not available in the US.

  • So, and this may sound familiar,

  • they set up shop in China,

  • by contracting with a local factory.

  • That way it was easier and cheaper

  • to get the parts they needed.

  • They began making globes in China in 2008.

  • By 2017, MOVA was doing

  • more than 80% of its manufacturing in China.

  • MOVA makes dozens of designs, including earth globes,

  • the moon, other planets, even a Van Gogh painting.

  • MOVA has always focused on the technology of their globes.

  • They're not an educational company.

  • So they were never concerned with the politics of maps.

  • MOVA purchased their map designs from a Chinese vendor,

  • and then had a local company do the physical printing.

  • That includes their 12 globe designs

  • that have political maps of the world.

  • And it turns out, Chinese government regulations

  • require that all maps sold in China,

  • or printed in China but sold abroad,

  • have to have China's official version of the world map.

  • And since MOVA had its maps printed in China,

  • it had no choice but to comply with Chinese law.

  • Over the years,

  • and especially since the 2016 Hague ruling,

  • the Chinese government has strengthened its map printing rules.

  • As my favorite Chinese state-run media The Global Times put it:

  • The goal is tomake the [Chinese] government's position on territory

  • clear to the international community.”

  • And this is important,

  • becauseProblematic maps... will confuse the international community

  • about China's territory and the government's position,

  • or even be hyped by those with ulterior motives,

  • seriously damaging national interests and the government's image.”

  • And while most normal people would consider this to be... ludicrous...

  • the People's Republic of China takes it very, very seriously.

  • And they literally have inspectors check every single Chinese factory

  • including foreign companies'—

  • to make sure their maps are politically correct.

  • Here's another example.

  • Shelley got this map as a Christmas gift.

  • You can scratch off the countries you've been to.

  • It's sold by a UK-based company.

  • It, too, has China's Nine-Dash Line.

  • Guess which country that map was printed in?

  • And when Shelley scratched off China and Taiwan,

  • they were the same color.

  • Sorry, Shelley, you only get credit

  • for visiting *one* country now.

  • Even digital maps of China are affected.

  • While Google Maps looks like this...

  • Chinese-owned Baidu Maps looks like this.

  • It has China's version of the border with India,

  • the Nine-Dash Line,

  • and Taiwan is labeled like a province of China,

  • not a separate country.

  • And artwork has been affected, too.

  • Last year, Chinese students protested

  • at the London School of Economics

  • because a giant upside-down globe sculpture showed

  • Taiwan as an independent country.

  • As you can see from this photo,

  • Taiwan is clearly pink while China is yellow.

  • After an international controversy,

  • the London School of Economics solved the problem

  • in the most academic way possible:

  • They added a footnote.

  • And the map controversy has hit retail stores, too.

  • Last year, clothing company GAP

  • was criticized by Chinese authorities

  • for selling a T-shirt with thewrongmap of China.

  • This is what GAP's shirt looked like,

  • And this is the map it wassupposedto have.

  • GAP wrote an apology so pathetic it's almost unreal.

  • They said: “Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty

  • and territorial integrity of China.

  • We've learned a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets

  • mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China.

  • We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error.”

  • Other companies that have recently

  • apologized to China over maps include:

  • Versace...

  • Christian Dior...

  • And Audi...

  • Just last month,

  • following that NBA-Hong Kong debacle,

  • sports broadcaster ESPN showed this graphic of China

  • complete with Taiwan and the Nine-Dash Line.

  • All this is to say,

  • that a huge number of companies that print their products in China,

  • or simply have a business relationship with China,

  • have felt pressure to make their world maps

  • conform to China's official version.

  • And that includes the maps they use in products

  • sold in the rest of the world.

  • And given that most maps are made by companies

  • that are not educational companies

  • like GAP, ESPN, et cetera

  • those companies don't really care.

  • Many of them are not even aware of the politics surrounding maps.

  • And it's much easier to just do what the Chinese government requires,

  • than to take a stand against

  • the world's most powerful authoritarian regime

  • on whatfor themis a minor issue.

  • The United States and other free countries

  • don't have these kinds of map restrictions.

  • So in the US, Canada, Europe, et cetera,

  • you can show any map you want.

  • Like Shelley's scratch-off mapshipped to the US

  • by a UK company that just happens to print its maps in China.

  • See, it doesn't matter if it matches

  • the US or UK's official world map.

  • That's called freedom of the press.

  • And the Chinese Communist Party

  • is taking advantage of *our* freedom of the press.

  • Their plan is to get the rest of the world

  • to recognize their territorial claims.

  • I'm not exaggerating.

  • They literally say that in state-run media.

  • So the Chinese Communist Party

  • is slowly infiltrating all the maps everywhere,

  • by controlling the printing inside China,

  • and pressuring Western companies outside China.

  • But this cloud has a silver lining.

  • Not every company is a coward like GAP.

  • Which brings us back to MOVA Globes.

  • The management at MOVA told us

  • they hadn't even noticed the Nine-Dash Line

  • until we pointed it out to them.

  • But now MOVA *is* aware.

  • And MOVA has stopped production in China.

  • I'd like to say it was our message to MOVA

  • that convinced them to pull out.

  • But it wasn't.

  • It was something even crazier.

  • See, this is MOVA's Antique Terrestrial map.

  • It's based on an Italian world map from 1790.

  • In 1790, China was ruled by the Qing Dynasty,

  • and the map of China looked very different.

  • But guess what?

  • China's communist authorities

  • don't recognize that map,

  • because China was labeled in Italian.

  • Chinese inspectors had approved

  • all MOVA Globe designs since 2008.

  • But things seem to have changed in 2017—

  • right as China was strengthening its map printing rules.

  • That's when Chinese government inspectors entered the factory

  • the one MOVA had contracted to make their globes.

  • The inspectors saw this antique design,

  • and told them they couldn't print it

  • because it doesn't match China's guidelines.

  • That's crazy!

  • But it gets crazier.

  • The inspectors stopped the presses,

  • and issued steep fines for, quote,

  • not being in compliance with China's rules and regulations.”

  • This applied to the antique designs,

  • plus a number of modern designs.

  • All in all, MOVA was forced to pay

  • more than 40,000 US dollars in fines.

  • So what was MOVA to do in this kind of

  • highly politicized environment?

  • They closed up shop,

  • and moved all their manufacturing to Taiwan.

  • Well, they didn't actually close up shop themselves.

  • The Chinese government did.

  • Officials boarded up the factory,

  • and forbid them from accessing it until they paid up.

  • They had to pay,

  • because that factory still housed

  • a lot of MOVA's expensive internal components,

  • like solar cells and magnets.

  • And it's those components

  • that make MOVA globes spin magically like this,

  • without any wires or external batteries.

  • This unique technology is the core of their business.

  • So the Chinese government essentially forced MOVA

  • to pay more than 40,000 dollars

  • just to go into the factory and collect their own components.

  • All in all, it was a very expensive form of censorship.

  • As of 2019, MOVA does 100% of its printing and assembly

  • at its own facility in Taiwan.

  • And since Taiwan is a free country,

  • MOVA can now print whatever they want with no restrictions.

  • And now that the US has a 30% tariff on certain imports from China,

  • it's actually less expensive to manufacture in Taiwan.

  • But like many companies,

  • even after pulling out of mainland China,

  • MOVA is still facing pressure.

  • See, even though MOVA's map designs are now printed outside China,

  • each globe uses highly specialized Low-Light Solar Cells,

  • and a Low Friction Motor.