04/04/2024, 19.39
Send to a friend

In the 'new’ China, AI brings to life the dead on Qingming

Municipal authorities in Chongqing have promoted the initiative for the spring festival when Chinese visit the graves of their dearly departed. However, paying homage to the late Li Keqiang has been banned. The former premier, who died suddenly last October, was once seen as a counterweight to Xi Jinping.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Today is Qingming, the traditional spring festival when Chinese families pay homage to their ancestors and visit their graves.

In recent years, local authorities have tended to denigrate the ancient rite, describing it as superstition; nevertheless, people continue the practices of burning incense, paper objects or banknotes in memory of loved ones.

Instead of the ancient practice, the authorities have urged people to honour the dead in other ways. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, dedicated an extensive article today to one of the alternative practices, a symbol of the myth of the "new China", while at the same time, praising the "wonders" of artificial intelligence.

In a park in Chongqing, the great metropolis in south-west China, a big screen has been set up allowing people to “virtually reunite” with their dearly departed thanks to a technologically advanced system that recreates their appearance and voice.

The initiative was promoted by the local committee that manages organ donations. By integrating big data and relevant information about the deceased based on the wishes and memories of relatives and friends, it is now possible to create a digital replica of the dead, available only to family members.

According to the promoters of this initiative, “The practice can satisfy the desire of some family members to ‘talk’ with their loved ones once again. It can also be further developed into a customized online memorial hall to better preserve their common memories about the deceased.”

Xinhua also reports that the Fushouyuan company began offering the same commemoration service back in December in Shanghai, as well as the provinces of Jiangsu, Liaoning, Henan, and Jiangxi.

The company has gone one step further, promising that in the future the digital image of the deceased could be developed to the point that they can “participate” in memorial activities, interacting with those present.

In the transcendental dimension President Xi Jinping impressed upon China’s way of life, data science seems to have its place in a very sensitive domain for the East such as the cult of the dead.

But memory is also a political issue. Indeed, a recent report leaked by Chinese netizens seems to confirm this.

It appears that the authorities have imposed a ban on placing flowers during Qingming on the grave of Li Keqiang, the former premier of the People's Republic of China who died suddenly last October soon after he was replaced at the helm of the state council (cabinet).

Today police were deployed in great numbers in Qianxi Square, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, Li’s fiefdom, scene last October of great display of mourning at his death. The goal was to stop people from laying flowers in memory of the politician once seen as a counterweight to Xi Jinping.


Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Pope: All Souls shows the three dimensions of life: past, future and present
02/11/2018 21:00
Northern and Southern families 'virtually' united
Xi Jinping's 'New Silk Road’ includes green economy and digital networks
18/10/2023 16:46
NYSE makes U-turn, decides not to delist Chinese companies
05/01/2021 13:53
Official churches and religions celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese communist regime (Video)
23/09/2019 09:19


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”