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VIDEO: Chinese not so smitten by fake Paris

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VIDEO: Chinese not so smitten by fake Paris
Fake Paris, more like a ghost town. Photo: Screen grab from Vice documentary
14:55 CEST+02:00
Paris has long been a favourite with Chinese visitors – so much so that they even created a replica in their own backyard. But it appears the Chinese might not be as besotted with the French capital as we all thought.

Complete with its own Eiffel Tower (at 108 metres instead of 324), a Champs-Elysées, a Montmartre and a Versailles, the Chinese town of Tiaducheng is a near-perfect clone of Paris, with all its famous tourist hot spots.

Located in a residential area around 200km from Shanghaï, the town is large enough to accommodate up to 100,000 people.

And with prices at a reported €500 per month for 300m2, accommodation comes at veritable steal compared with the real thing.

But its deserted streets are a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the French capital as fake Paris has not proved to be the draw for Chinese Francophiles as its creators had hoped.

Despite the financial appeal, the six-year-old town now only hosts around 2000 inhabitants, and appears to be only frequented by couples who go there to have their wedding photos taken, according to a documentary made by producers VICE.

"Paris is far away and it's expensive to travel," a couple said as they posed for their wedding photos. 

According to the video documentary, most of the apartment blocks in the "ghost town" are now empty and shopkeepers unemployed.

"Replica Paris leaves a little bit to be desired...that little bit specifically being humans," says Vice reporter Ryan Duffy in the documentary film. 

Perhaps Tiaducheng or fake Paris will benefit from the fact the reputation of the real City of Light has taken a knock in recent months after a number of violent attacks and robberies on Chinese nationals.

After a group of six Chinese students were beaten up in Bordeaux the French government admitted that the country's image had been harmed.

Beijing demanded that authorities in Paris do more to protect its citizens when they visited France.

(Watch a clip from Vice's documentary on China's fake Paris)

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