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Why deepfakes of foreigners are selling goods on Chinese social media
May 14, 2024

Why deepfakes of foreigners are selling goods on Chinese social media

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Marketplace China correspondent Jennifer Pak explains what's behind this latest trend of AI-generated deepfakes in China.

A couple of weeks ago, Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak noticed a video deepfake of the Hollywood actor Chris Evans on social media. The AI-generated Evans explains in Chinese how money is at the root of life’s problems.

It’s part of a recent trend on mainland China, where deepfakes of foreigners give advice, discuss politics and sell goods online.

Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Pak about what’s behind the trend and later, the state of online misinformation in China.

This conversation was part of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series, “Decoding Democracy.” Watch the full episode here or on our YouTube channel.

More on everything we talked about

“‘Deepfake’ scam in China fans worries over AI-driven fraud” – from Reuters

“Ukrainian YouTuber Finds Her AI Clone Selling Russian Goods on Chinese Internet” – from Voice of America

“Research: Deepfake ‘News Anchors’ in Pro-China Footage” – from Voice of America

“China’s New Legislation on Deepfakes: Should the Rest of Asia Follow Suit?” – from The Diplomat

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The team

Daisy Palacios Senior Producer
Daniel Shin Producer
Jesús Alvarado Associate Producer
Rosie Hughes Assistant Producer