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Zombies In China refers to a conspiracy theory about rumors that a zombie apocalypse is happening in China and being covered up, purportedly stemming from a 2021 article that describes how a zombie apocalypse might happen in China. In August 2022, rumors that a video supposedly showing a zombie resurrecting from death in China, which is actually a video related to the Russian comedy series Hello Again!, started to appear on TikTok, inspiring further videos spreading the hoax.
On July 16th, 2021, We Are The Mighty published an opinion piece by Ruddy Cano titled, "This is how a zombie apocalypse is most likely to start in China." The article suggests that a zombie apocalypse could happen in China due to their Communist government and propaganda, also suggesting they would abuse a zombie vaccine for profit.
On or just prior to January 24th, 2022, now-suspended Redditor u/Miserable_Tie7172 posted a video to /r/Damnthatsinteresting supposedly showing a dead man coming back to life over CCTV footage (post unavailable). The black-and-white video shows an overhead shot of a morgue and a covered body on a table. The man on the table pulls off the sheet, gets up and moves around the table in a zombie-like, stiff manner.
The video was reuploaded to YouTube by Headline News that day, titled, "Dead Man Wake Up in Morgue, Russia CCTV," garnering over 23,000 views in seven months (shown below). The video gained some online news coverage, with a January 25th article by American Post highlighting how some commenters doubted the video's authenticity. On January 29th, the video was posted to /r/oddlyterrifying, garnering over 7,300 upvotes in the same span of time.
The clip originally comes from the Russian IVI Original series Hello Again!, released that month in January 2022. At the 09:20-minute mark of the first episode, available for free on IVI.tv, the same scene plays out in the same room although from different camera angles than the static CCTV angle, showing a man getting up, naked, from a table in a morgue and stiffly moving around it.
On May 14th, 2022, TikToker @pessilencieuxx posted a screenshot of the video captioned, "China reports its first zombie case," garnering over 800,000 views in three months (shown below).
In August 2022, TikTokers began posting videos claiming that a zombie had been spotted in China, sometimes using the same screenshot from the Hello Again! clip and claiming it shows a zombie being resurrected. For example, on August 2nd, 2022, TikToker @whyarehumansliketheyare posted a video of the screenshot with a caption suggesting China is suppressing news about the video, gaining over 130,000 views in a week (shown below, left). On August 8th, TikToker @ykgsm posted a video claiming the zombie was killed, gaining over 1.3 million views in two days (shown below, right).
On the same day, Twitter user @minasluvbot posted, "now why are ppl on tiktok saying there’s zombies in china," garnering over 300 likes and 20 retweets in two days. On the same day, Twitter user @jjujube_ posted telling people the China zombie is a hoax, denouncing the We Are Mighty article as racist. On August 9th, Newsweek reported on the trend. On the same day, TikToker @sheluvscee.1zz posted a video referencing the hoax, gaining over 500,000 views in under 24 hours (shown below). On August 10th, HITC reported on the trend.
 We Are The Mighty – This is how a zombie apocalypse is most likely to start in China
 American Post – Video of a corpse coming back to life goes viral on social media
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