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Video does not show Wuhan market thought to be ground zero for new virus

February 5, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows bats, rodents and snakes being sold along with live dogs at the Wuhan market where the new virus from China originated.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video was taken at a market in Indonesia.

THE FACTS: Following reports by health officials that the new virus out of China originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, where live animals are sold, a video began circulating falsely claiming it was filmed at the market.

The video, which shows a market teeming with roasted rats, cut up snakes and dogs in cages for sale, was actually filmed at the Langowan Market in Sulawesi, Indonesia.


In the misrepresented video, a sign, when translated into English, reads “Langowan Market Office.” In addition, at the beginning of the recording there is an Indonesian phrase that translated to English says, “Langowan EXTREME Market.”

A video showing the same scene was posted to YouTube in July of 2019, with a caption in Indonesian saying it showed the market. The video was posted months before the first cases of the new virus from China were detected in December. 

Videos with the false caption were shared across platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

China had reported 24,324 confirmed cases of the virus as of Wednesday, and 490 deaths.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: