Fact Check: 23andMe Did NOT Sell All DNA Assets To Chinese Government In 10 Billion Dollar Deal

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: 23andMe Did NOT Sell All DNA Assets To Chinese Government In 10 Billion Dollar Deal Parody

Did the genetic testing company 23andMe sell all DNA assets to the Chinese government in a $10 billion deal? No, that's not true: The spoof article that originally made the claim includes a warning at the bottom, telling readers that the article is a parody and "for entertainment purposes only." A spokesman for 23andMe also told Lead Stories that the claim isn't true.

The claim was repeated in a Facebook post without the parody disclaimer (archived here), published May 11, 2024. The post included a screenshot of the original story's headline, "23 & Me Sells All DNA Assets To Chinese Government in 10 Billion Dollar Deal," and a caption that read:

.......wut? I'm doing a video on this.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri May 17 13:29:20 2024 UTC)

The person behind the Facebook post later added a comment that read:

Hey guys, this is a parody article. I should have been more specific in the description. I am going to do a long form video on the data breaches 23&me has experienced.

But the Facebook post itself was not edited.

The story (archived here) behind the Facebook post was originally published on Medium on February 21, 2024. It includes the following disclaimer:

This article is a work of parody and for entertainment purposes only. No such sale or agreement has been made between 23 & Me and any government. Please read with a sense of humor and a grain of salt.

Parodies are frequently taken out of context and repeated by others as if they are true. Lead Stories has debunked a number of such articles. See here for a collection of our debunked satire stories.

Lead Stories reached out to 23andMe to ask about the claim in the post on Facebook. Spokesman Andy Kill responded in an email, dated May 17, 2024, writing: "[T]his is utterly false."

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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