Chinese city Weihai tries to pass itself off as Vancouver in brochure

By Kenneth Chan | 4 months ago | Speak Up

Last Tuesday, Vancouverite Nicole Sy had quite the surprise when she checked the mailbox at her Beijing residence.

What she found inside the mailbox was a brochure for apartment units located at a new development called ‘Bay Palace’ in the coastal city of Weihai in China’s Shandong province. With mountains meeting the ocean and its temperate climate, Weihai was named as ‘China’s most livable city’ for 2013.

What caught her attention was the front cover image of the brochure. On her blog, she outlined her thought process and how she came to realize within seconds that it was a photo not of Weihai but of Vancouver.

At first glance, “Weihai really is beautiful. It looks almost like Vancouver (where I’m from). Man, look at those mountains,” she wrote. “Actually, this place looks a lot like Yaletown… there are boats, and that even looks like the Burrard Street Bridge. Hey, wait a second, that IS the Burrard Bridge! That IS Yaletown!”

Indeed, this image most certainly illustrates downtown Vancouver: it shows the mouth of False Creek where it meets English Bay, the West End and, in the distance, Stanley Park, Cypress Mountain and West Vancouver.

“It’s not the first time I’ve seen something like this during my stay in China, but it happens more often online than offline,” said Sy during an interview with Vancity Buzz.

“One of my favourite examples are real estate agents posting apartments in the classifieds and using another building’s pictures. This doesn’t happen on legit sites but it’s very common elsewhere with smaller agencies,” she added.

“Weihai, China” a.k.a. Vancouver

Weihai, China Vancouver

Image: Nicole Sy

Weihai, China Vancouver

Image: Nicole Sy

The real downtown Vancouver from the same angle

Vancouver Burrard Bridge English Bay False Creek / Shutterstock Image: Steve Allen / Shutterstock

Was it absolutely necessary to use an image of Vancouver, the world’s third most livable city, to sell condos in China’s most livable city?

Like Vancouver, the city of Weihai boasts stunning natural scenery but clearly this still wasn’t enough for the Chinese condo marketers who practiced misleading advertising.

Over the summer, a zoo located in another Chinese province tried to pass off a large, fluffy Tibetan mastiff as an African lion, a mongrel dog as a Timber wolf, a white fox as a leopard, and large sewer rats and sea cucumbers as snakes. For starters, since when do lions bark?

The real Weihai, China

Featured Image: Nicole Sy

Speak Up

  • Nathan

    Weihai, China: How do you like our 80′s seawall architecture? Splendid, isn’t it.

  • Leon Williams

    Way more common than you think, the world is full of this king of thing, developing countries especially. I remember a similar thing happened once before.

  • Honesty.

    People will steal anything.

  • Mr. Opinion

    Damn Chinese (in China) they make their country’s inhabitants look like freakin’ idiots

  • Trevor LeBlanc

    this is annoying like go away

  • ted

    California beats Vancouver in every way

  • Vinh

    Such a Chinese thing to do

  • Na na na na na na

    Thanks Ted. My post is better than yours.

  • ted

    Your urban sprawl and smog is bigger than ours. You got us beat.

  • Eric

    Vancouver has smog?

  • T_T ☺

    Excellent, let them buy there and not here. Give the first time home buyers not investors in Vancouver an opportunity to buy.

  • Brycon Slaughter Casey


  • southdelta

    In all seriousness what positive ways?

  • Marco Vincenzi

    Flattering and funny. With Metro Vancouver Real Estate being as hot as it is, Im not surprised images, slogans and marketing tactics wouldn’t be used as a guideline on how to do things. But out right passing off Vancouver images as a city in China… to funny! Marco Vincenzi

  • Helmethair

    It’s possible, likely even that the people who made the brochure just did a baidu image search for weihai looking for a picture and this one came up. Little did they know it wasn’t the city they were looking for.

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