Rumors that the Communist Party of China (CCP) is underreporting the extent of the coronavirus outbreak continue to swirl. And the evidence is mounting too.
According to a new report in Taiwan News, Tencent may have accidentally leaked “real” statistics on the coronavirus outbreak that far outpace the official numbers.
Tencent has been providing up-to-date statistics on the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. Taiwan News’ report indicates that, over the weekend, the “Epidemic Situation Tracker” briefly listed total coronavirus infections at 154,023 cases.
More worryingly, the report suggested that the virus had led to 24,589 deaths.
Moments after publishing these numbers, Tencent allegedly updated the page to reflect the “official” government numbers. Anecdotal reports cited in the Taiwan News report suggest this has happened on at least three occasions.
It’s not clear how the larger numbers ended up on Tencent’s website. Or where they came from.
But the initial stats dovetail with other reports that suggest the CCP is hiding the severity of the situation. For instance, Caijing claimed that the government is grossly underreporting both cases and deaths.
If the numbers from the alleged Tencent leak are accurate, it would put coronavirus’ mortality rate at almost 16%. By comparison, SARS’ mortality rate was 9.6%.
The economic and social repercussions of a disease that’s much more infectious and fatal that SARS could be catastrophic.
It’s no wonder the CCP is panicking. Their desperate measures suggest that the actual numbers are closer to what Tencent published than the “official” data.
Even the media is slowly catching up to Beijing’s lying.
There have been multiple reports of Wuhan officials cremating deceased coronavirus victims before they could be added to the official death toll. The Wall Street Journal noted that the coronavirus numbers coming out of China are fishy.
Twitter is flooded with gloomy (albeit unverified) videos of corpses piling up, police reloading their guns, hoards of officials being deployed to contain a solo case of infection. You wouldn’t expect to see things like this if this was just your average flu.
The Chinese government is using the stock market as a signaling tool. If markets are going up, people are likely to underestimate the severity of the situation.
The government is doing all it can to ensure that markets do stay propped up.
Just a few days ago, Beijing injected $174 billion into the financial markets through open market operations. They even banned short-selling and blocked major investors from selling their stakes for six months.
These measures have worked for now as global markets have shrugged off coronavirus fears. But if the numbers are anywhere close to what Tencent inadvertently published, money-printing will be rendered useless.
Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com.
Last modified: February 6, 2020 7:56 AM UTC