In Januari 2014, this article reported that:

Over the weekend, a story that originated on the smut-ridden UK-based Daily Mail went viral among major media outlets across the world. Time, CBS, and the Huffington Post were among the dozens of online news media who published stories about Beijing residents flocking to giant TV screens to see fake sunrises during heavy pollution last week. Most of these stories were accompanied by the same photo of a massive TV screen in Tiananmen Square with a sunrise appearing on it.

Heavily smogged/fogged Chinese square with giant widescreen display showing a red sunrise.

The article goes on to say that Beijing residents are NOT watching fake sunrises on giant TVs because of pollution:

In truth, that sunrise was probably on the screen for less than 10 seconds at a time, as it was part of an ad for tourism in China’s Shandong province. The ad plays every day throughout the day all year round no matter how bad the pollution is. The photographer simply snapped the photo at the moment when the sunrise appeared.

That does not clearly answer the question of whether people can directly see a real sunrise in Beijing.


There is plenty of photographic evidence of sunrises over Beijing.

Sunrise picture

Sunrise picture

Sunrise picture

Sunrise picture

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