The photo, captioned "love and consideration for the elderly is a cherished Chinese tradition. They should feel the warmth of the party and the government," depicts four Chinese Communist Party officials in Anhui province and the 103-year-old woman, but one of the men is cut off in the middle and all three men are towering over the elderly woman, Cheng Yanchun, who was clearly edited in from a different photo, The Mirror, Britain, reported Thursday.
Officials said the employee responsible for the Photoshop disaster was ordered to write a "self-criticism report."
The government said the photo may have been faked, but the visit was real.
"Cheng was sitting on a chair on the balcony, under the sun. The balcony space was very small and the camera lens could not cover the whole scene," a government statement said. "When the employee of the municipal civil affairs department uploaded the photos, ... he simply merged two shots. We express deep regret to Internet users for its negative influence. We will learn from the experience, to improve civil affairs work."