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No, China doesn’t have a ‘50 lane highway’

China is the most populous country in the world. According to the World Bank, an estimated 1.39 billion people called it home in 2018. But can it also boast of a “50 lane highway”?

This is the claim in a Facebook post that was marked as possibly false by Facebook's fact-checking system. 

A graphic in the post shows a photo of rows and rows of cars entering what looks like a toll gate. 

“If you’re ever feeling stressed just remember there’s a 50 lane highway in China that merges into 4 [lanes],” the text reads. 

Is this true? We checked. 

Photo shows ‘G4 Expressway’ in China

The claim has been questioned a number of times online. 

The photo is of the “G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway” in China. The road is more than 2,000 kilometres long, connecting the cities of Beijing in the north and Shenzhen in the south. According to Google Maps it would take 25 hours to drive between the two cities on the highway. 

The toll gate in the photo is near the city of Zhuozhou. The road, buildings and fields in the photo can be seen on Google Maps

Toll gate has 25 lanes – not 50

So how many lanes does the highway have? 

Google Maps shows that the highway is four lanes wide along most of its route. About 650 metres before the toll gate the number of lanes starts to increase. At its widest, the highway has 25 lanes (you can count them in the photo). The lanes decrease to four again after about 450 metres. 

The claim that “there’s a 50 lane highway in China that merges into 4 [lanes]” is incorrect. Most of the “G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway” has only four lanes. The photo in the Facebook post shows a toll gate where the number of lanes increases to 25. – Africa Check


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