A photo appears to show young children tied together like a chain gang as they are led on a tour of Art Basel in Hong Kong, which recently concluded on March 17.
The photograph was posted to Facebook and has gone viral, sparking outrage from Hong Kong Internet users.
The kids were actually taking part in a tour organized by UBS, the lead sponsor of Art Basel in Hong Kong.
The comments on the Facebook post criticised the treatment of children, some say that it was comparable to the treatment of criminals or dogs.
UBS explained that the kids were not tied up, but they were encouraged to hold onto a rope as a means of keeping everyone together on the tour.
The financial services company said the free activities and tours are run by trained educators and some of the children are below 12 years of age.
In a statement from UBS, it was claimed that the use of a safety rope is in line with “standard practice” in schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong and elsewhere:
“UBS and Art Basel take the safety and security of children taking part in these programs very seriously and has put plans in place to ensure that the children are properly supervised throughout.”