Waking up stumped by the idea that I’ve been duped, I ran a few Google searches that revealed other people also having doubts about the veracity of the three-part series.
In my case I found that their Twitter feed (East Asia Tribune) has only a couple dozen followers, which is strange for a purportedly large news organization (Their own About page says that they’ve been in business since 1972 and lists offices around the world, but these offices do not seem to exist based on separate searches for them.)
Another user, Jasmine Kok, had this to say about the East Asia Tribune;
I joined quora just to answer this. I’m pretty sure it’s fake. 1) the address on the website is fake (the postal code and street address don’t match, and there is no building in Shanghai called the east Asia tribune tower.) 2) the “serious” articles go back about three weeks. Any article posted before mid-March 2016 is nonsense. They also have no articles pre-dating mid 2015. 3) there is practically no info available on the internet about the east Asia tribune. You’d think a legit news provider would have at least a wiki entry. 4) most damning – I left a comment on their Facebook page setting out the above three points and it was deleted almost immediately.
I have no way of checking if the Quora users were legit, but this was enough for me to continue digging for more information.
WHOIS CHECK ON THE DOMAIN EASTASIATRIBUNE.COM
Running a WHOIS check on East Asia Tribune’s domain name, eastasiatribune.com, revealed the following information;
The WHOIS information reveals that East Asia Tribune’s domain was purchased only last March 23, 2016. I’ll just leave that here and let that bit of info speak for itself.