A recent map from NASA's Earth’s City Lights project shows India shining brighter than China. Source: NASA

A Newly updated NASA Night Light map, released last April, which aims to show patterns of human settlement around the globe, has prompted an amusing back-and-forth in the Chinese and Indian media.

The map appears to show that India is brighter than China, leading to confusion on the part of some netizens, reported Chinese news outlet The Paper.

The article paraphrased online comments: “Has India’s level of economic development and power distribution surpassed China? Or is NASA being manipulated?”

None of these, of course, explained the article. In fact, China is way ahead of India by all economic and development indicators.

While the reminder of how far ahead of India China is in terms of economic development was probably unnecessary, the fact that China’s state media felt the need to republish the article in English was not lost on the Indian press.

India’s Economic Times seized on an English language People’s Daily report on the original article, noting that China “feels slighted” by NASA’s map:

“China’s growing unease with India reached an absurd level when it tied itself in knots trying to prove that India looking brighter than China does not mean it is more electrified.

An indicator of electrification, a map from NASA’s Earth’s City Lights project shows India shining brighter than China at night.

However, China’s state-sponsored People’s Daily Online quibbles that it’s China that should look brighter because it’s more electrified than India.”

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