China’s Leading Newspaper Reports That India Shines Brighter Than China On The Map But Not In Reality

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12:30 pm 21 Jul, 2017


China’s, People’s Daily Online, has reported that when seen from the sky, the map of India looks much brighter than China. The report titled ‘India looks brighter than China on map, but really it’s not’ was published on Thursday on the online portal of one of the biggest newspapers of China.

People’s Daily is the official newspaper of China and the fact itself is sufficient to believe that no logic or sense should be expected from the media house, particularly when it reports anything about India.

Earth’s City Lights’ image People’sDaily


The report mentions that the State Grid Corporation of China has provided three reasons for why India appears brighter than China in the image of Earth’s City Lights, which is NASA’s project to map urbanization of different countries across the globe.


The article mentions that since India has more plains that China and three of its four sides are surrounded by water, the lights appear to be brighter. Then it goes on to highlight that China is more urbanized than India, therefore India’s map shows more lights from the villages as they take up more space.

A screenshot of the report published by People’s Daily Online


First of all, the logic of water bodies surrounding the land of India making the lights appear brighter does not make any sense. Moreover, the state of electrification of Indian villages is hidden from no one. A large of number of villages in many Indian states still do not have access to electricity. In fact, many of them do not even have access to water, forget electricity. A report by the Indian Express, published in the later part of 2016 reveals that more than 35 per cent of the villages are yet to be electrified. And many of those that have been electrified have no access to power yet. Then, how larger areas of India make its map appear brighter in the sky is still to be figured out.

A report by the World Bank reveals that by the year 2014, 100 per cent of China had access to electricity and by the pace China claims to be heading towards development, this number is not expected to have fallen by any chance in the last three years. The complete report can be read below:

The State Grid Corporation of China has provided three reasons for why India shines brighter than China in the Earth’s City Lights of image, a NASA project to map urbanization.

According to the Shanghai based media outlet The Paper, India has more plains than China and is surrounded by seas on three sides, which makes the lights appear brighter. Forty-percent of Indian lands are plain and the mean attitude of the Deccan Plateau is less than 1,000 meters, while China’s plains make up 12 percent. More than half of China is made up high-altitude plateaus and mountains, home to about 28 percent of population, which makes the western and northern regions of China seem dim in comparison.

Official data shows China is more urbanized than India, as the percentage of urbanization in China is 57 percent compared to India’s 35 percent. In the map, India has more lights from villages, which take up more space, while China has more large cities that appear as big, round lights that are not as intense as the lights in India.

Actually, the map does not measure the intensity of the lights. But India has more blue and green lights and fewer red and orange lights, the latter of which refer to developed areas.

Experts say India is developing at a high speed, but not at the same pace as China both in terms of economy and electricity consumption.

According to the Economic Times in India, more than 300 million Indians are living without electricity and more than 18,000 villages don’t have electricity.


Throughout the article, the media house fails to establish its precise point and the logic behind it since even by the end of the report, it is not clear why India appearing brighter on the image of Earth’s City Lights bothers China.

The People’s Daily even shared this report on their twitter handle and got some amazing responses that are worth sharing here.