4 December 2023
Fact checkMisleading

False: Video shows fire in Hebei, not Beijing’s Xizhimen Hotel

The fire occurred in the Nanxinglong residential area in the city of Chengde in Hebei province.

A Twitter user posted a video on Oct. 23 showing a building on fire and claimed this was Xizhimen Hotel in Beijing. The user also said the fire coincided with the closing of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party on Oct. 22.

Xizhimen Hotel is a four-star hotel that, until it was transferred in 2019, belonged to the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army.

It is now owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Rongtong Asset Management Group, directly managed by the State Council.

The hotel is not far from the Great Hall of the People, where the CPC congress was held. It is often used as one of the designated accommodations for delegates attending important meetings in the capital.

The video has been viewed more than 104,000 times and retweeted 217 times at the time of writing.

However, the claim is false, and the usage of this video is misleading. The fire has nothing to do with Xizhimen Hotel. The incident occurred in Chengde, Hebei.

A reverse image search led to the same video on Douyin that claimed to show a fire in the Nanxinglong residential area (小区) in Chengde, which was uploaded on Oct. 19.

The community’s name (南兴隆) led to another Douyin video published on the same day showing the aftermath of a fire.

In this video, we can see a signboard that reads Xiangda Hotel. Annie Lab then found a photo on the Qunar travel website featuring the same fence railing and green cover seen in the Douyin video.

The Douyin video (left) provided the location of the fire. The one on the right described the aftermath of a fire and showed a signboard of a hotel, which is located in the same area.
Screenshot of Xiangda Hotel photo from Qunar travel website.

We also found other Douyin videos from the same location showing the fire (here and here). The building is called Changhe Building.

Photo of Xiangda Hotel (left) shows the same metal fence railing and green cover in the Douyin video (right)

The license plate on a van seen in the video in question also indicates the fire was not taking place in Beijing.

The Chinese character “冀” means Hebei province in Chinese. It would be “京” if the van were licensed in Beijing.

Also, the alphabet “H” next to “冀” means the car is registered in Chengde, Hebei.

Roadside vehicles with license plates that said “冀H”
Photo of Xizhimen Hotel (left) shows no similarity to the building on fire in the Douyin video (right)