Sprawling science disinformation network: Steve Bannon teamed up with Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui to spread COVID misinformation through ‘thousands of social media accounts’

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Stephen K. Bannon, the former strategist to President Trump, and Guo Wengui, who is wanted in China, have teamed up. Credit: Guo Media
Stephen K. Bannon, the former strategist to President Trump, and Guo Wengui, who is wanted in China, have teamed up. Credit: Guo Media

A sprawling online network tied to Chinese businessman Guo Wengui has become a potent platform for disinformation in the United States, attacking the safety of coronavirus vaccines, promoting false election-fraud claims and spreading baseless QAnon conspiracies, according to research published [May 17] by the network analysis company Graphika.

The report, provided in advance to The Washington Post, details a network that Graphika says amplifies the views of Guo, a Chinese real estate developer whose association with former Trump White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon became a focus of news coverage last year after Bannon was arrested aboard Guo’s yacht on federal fraud charges.

Graphika said the network includes media websites such as GTV, for which Guo last year publicly said he was raising funds, along with thousands of social media accounts that Graphika said amplify content in a coordinated fashion. 

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[T]he network’s fluency in American politics and ability to make use of other languages beyond English suggest it could remain a powerful asset.

“These groups don’t just lie dormant after an election, they shift focus and morph topics to maintain their relevance so they can be activated to achieve the goals of those who control them,” [Alethea Group founder Lisa Kaplan] said.

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