Bill Gates Murdered by Media in China

This morning, my wife received a phone call from her friend that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was murdered in Los Angeles.

What? The whole world goes crazy!

Her friend continued to tell the bad news. She was on a taxi and the radio repeatedly reported the news – “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was murdered in Los Angeles when he was attending a charity ceremony“. The reporter used very sorrow voice and interrupted the regular news. The news came from China International Radio Station, he reported.

I was completely shocked, as much as I heard the news of Sept 11 one and a half years ago. I went to Sina.com.cn, the largest and most popular website in China, and they had put it in red font on the home page: ““Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles“. The same piece of news appeared on Sohu.com and Yahoo! China too. Here are some screen shot of the news.

"CNN: Microsoft President Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles" 11:28

AM, March 29, 2003 on Sina.com.cn

"CNN: Microsoft President Bill Gates Murdered in Los Angeles" 11:12

AM, March 29, 2003 on Yahoo! China

The words spread quickly. I got 3 phone calls and 4 MSN Messenger queries in just half hour (from 11:30 to 12:00). People are spreading the news as quick as they did when the first plane hit the NYWTC. Thanks to the morden technilogy – via SMS, mobile, and MSN Messenger. You know what, the first reaction for a lot of my friends is, forward the news to his/her friends.

On the web, it causes stronger reaction – 190 comments were posted on Sina.com.cn under the news entry.

On the contrary, CNN.com, MSNBC, Yahoo! are just as usual – the news cannot be found there.

After about one hour, the rumor ended. Sohu released an announcement that the

news is fake. Sina did the same 1.5 hours later. This event raises everyone’s attention to the media in China again – who is responsible for this?

Sohu IT News, March 29

Sina’s clarification of the fake news, March 29

Big names in this game

Big names in the traditional media industry in China is involved in this game. Besides Sina and Sohu, the following agencies also reported the news:

CCTV 4 (according to posts in BBS)

China International Radio (according to my friends who heard it)

Oriental TV (according to BBS)

What people are saying at hearing the news

There are 190 posts under Sina.com.cn’s entry. They reflect the real reaction of people when hearing the news. I digits some of them. They are all posted within 1 hour after the news is release.

He should be fine, from IP:210.21.107.*

What on earth is it? Is it true of false? May God Bless Bill Gates. IP:211.91.134.*

Oh, my god. It cann’t be true. Why not murder Bush? Bill is a good guy! IP:218.68.239.*

Don’t fool us! People who love to donote to charity will be fine. IP:202.110.116.*

It is really on China Daily. I don’t know whether it is true or not. I hope it will be false. IP:61.236.192.*

Updated Source of the fake news March 31, 2003

All the media pointed out that China Daily is the source of the fake news. According to an announcement later, China Daily said:

America news website CNN (CNN.com) reported on March 28, 2003 (Morning of March 29, 2003 Beijing time), that “Bill Gates was murdered in LA”. The news appeared on CNN’s web site for about half an hour before it was removed. Till now, other news media and agencies didn’t report the news.

After China Daily translated and reported the news, Sina and Sohu quoted the news and spread the news via SMS. At 12:20 AM, March 29, 2003 Beijing time, Microsoft cooperation called China Daily and told us that the news is released in April 1, 2002. It appeared on CNN for unknown reason.

25 thoughts on “Bill Gates Murdered by Media in China

  1. Reader

    This is excellent. I imagine Bill Gates and CNN can easily sue the chinese portals. Much to worry about SINA’s and SOHU’s stock prices from this point onwards…

  2. Jian Shuo Wang

    Reader, what is the point for CNN or Bill Gates to sue the Chinese portal? I don’t know anything about legal stuff. ChinaByte cited CNN (if it is true), then the other sites should be fine. What do you think?

  3. cuanyu

    I am the one who sent you MSN query. My girlfriend told me to browse sina.com to see the news. And soon I found it be deleted from the website. Then I realize it is only another joke. But I have already spead out this “information” to several of my friends. And I have even told it to my parents and spend several minutes to explain who Bill Gates is to my mother.

    Someone said when there is too much information,there is no information. It have been proved by this event.

  4. Jian Shuo Wang

    The fake news is really bad. I was so frightened about the news because I always think Bill is a great guy – actually what he is working for? He don’t need money. He is just too passionate about his dream that a computer will make the people’s life better.

  5. Raymond

    Oh my God, this sounds like a cruel April Fool’s Day joke to me. How stupid! :( Those Chinese news agencies look really bad now. They must be ashamed.

  6. Reader

    I am not sure about Bill Gates. But the fake news, citing CNN as the source, may damage CNN’s reputation, especially now that it is trying to enter the Chinese market.

    Thank God, this news didn’t appear during regular trading hours. Otherwise, it might have an impact on MSFT stock’s price for a brief moment. I remember a year or two ago, that happened to the Oracle’s CEO, causing panic selling of the stock.

  7. Lawrence

    Good article – I was going to write one last week about it, but got sidetracked yet again.

    Would it be permissible to use some of the screen grabs when I do write something for my own site?

  8. Jian Shuo Wang

    Thanks for asking for permission. Definitely I will grant the permission for you to use the pictures.

    I am also honored to see your comments on my blog since ShanghaiGuide is doing fantastic job. It is the site I visit very frequently long before I started my blog. :-)

  9. Lawrence

    Thank you.

    I am in the process of making my site better. I moved to a new server recently, and have been updating bits and pieces here and there. I’m going to change the articles section today to use the similar format to yours. I write my own code mostly, so its more challenging in some ways, but fun. You are doing a great job – better than me I feel :)

    I only discovered this site from googling for adsl info, will put link to your site soon, promise!

    Lawrence

    http://www.shanghaiguide.com

  10. Brian

    “It was posted April 1st, the reason is unknown”… that’s a little holiday we Americans like to call April Fools Day, the one day when it’s actually okay to play pranks on other people. Kids call their parents and say they are sick, people put soap in other people’s orange juice. It really is quite a silly holiday, but it’s practiced nonetheless.

  11. kindo

    THey couldn’t sue CHina. Even less likely that Cina would pay or accept anything they decide on.

    IT does show that these New agencies are just rediculous and the worst sort of media. THey could have sought out other back up information to prove this but instead just ran off with this headline. I hope know one uses these groups anymore, imagine the other news articles on lesser subjects that never get proved false.

  12. sparky

    maybe I am WAY out of touch with reality, but this is the first time I have ever stumbled across this story. I found a wacky website though, you should check it out. (a little strange, but to each his own I suppose) check it out http://www.billgatesisdead.com

  13. Taiwo Adegbite

    Its is my pleasure to contribute to this contrary rumor deployed by roup of people.It is not only an ordinary frame up statement but it is done by group of people.

    Well,I suggest that those people involving themselves into such an act as commited a criminal offence.According to the court of justice protocol,such an impact is greater than commiting a murder.To compare this case,I can see the case as a murder/a crime.

    In short,those website ownership too should be allege to the court.

  14. Taiwo Adegbite

    Its is my pleasure to contribute to this contrary rumor deployed by roup of people.It is not only an ordinary frame up statement but it is done by group of people.

    Well,I suggest that those people involving themselves into such an act as commited a criminal offence.According to the court of justice protocol,such an impact is greater than commiting a murder.To compare this case,I can see the case as a murder/a crime.

    In short,those website ownership too should be allege to the court.

  15. Rebecca karh

    Also, eines kann ich Euch sagen, wenn Bill Gates wirklich einmal Präsident der USA wird, dann schieße ich ihn ab, er ist nämlich der Antichrist 3.

  16. L

    Bill Gates is….possesses 97% probability of being the anti-christ…

    too badfor the world then…(sigh)….

  17. Susan Coughlin

    If I only had the chance to talk to either one of theses two i would be the happiest person in the whole wide world. It might make my life alot easier. please e-mail me back with some helpful info.

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