Skip to content


Kindergartens Have Shut Down Due to a Drop in Population

The impact of the One-Child policy continues to surface in China. In 2022, 46.28 million children were in kindergarten, a decrease of 1.78 million in population from the previous year. This has also led to kindergarten closures. The number of kindergartens dropped from 2.94 million in 2021 to 2.89 million in 2022, a loss of 5,000. This is the first-time the number of kindergartens has decreased in the past 15 years.

Seeing that its One-Child policy has resulted in a big reduction in new-borns, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) switched to a two-child policy, boosting the new baby population to 18.83 million in 2016 and over 17 million in 2017. But it didn’t last long and free fall came back quickly. The new-born population dropped to 15.23 million in 2018, 14.65 million in 2019, and 12.00 million in 2020.

Source: Sina, March 24, 2023

Global Times: Taiwan’s Chip Exports to the Mainland and HK Fell for Four Consecutive Months

Global Times recently reported that, in February, under the influence of the international political and economic situation, Taiwan’s exports of integrated circuit chips to the Mainland and Hong Kong fell for the fourth consecutive month. According to data from Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance, the exports fell by 31.3 percent in February year-over-year. This was the most serious decline since 2009, surpassing the 27.1 percent drop in January this year. China’s market share of Taiwan’s chip exports fell to its lowest level since February 2019. Meanwhile, total semiconductor shipments from Taiwan to the world  fell 17.3 percent in February from a year ago.

In the meantime, Singapore’s primary Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao also reported on this matter. However, Taiwan’s statistics also showed that, in February, its exports to the United States jumped 22.3 percent. Taiwan is the world’s largest producer of high-end chips, but Taiwan’s status as a geopolitical hotspot contributed to the decline of its global chip exports. Mainland China has been seeking to increase its self-sufficiency in semiconductor technology, countering U.S. sanctions. The Biden administration reached an agreement with the Netherlands and Japan in January to limit the export of some advanced chip-making machines to China.

(1) Global Times, March 20, 2023

(2) Lianhe Zaobao, March 20, 2023

Ecuador’s Former President Accused of Accepting the CCP’s Bribes

Lenin Moreno, who was the President of Ecuador until he was succeeded by the incumbent on May 24, 2021,  was sued by prosecutors on March 5 for accepting bribes amounting to US $76 million from China’s state-owned enterprise Sinohydro between 2009 and 2018. The government of Ecuador contracted Sinohydro to build the Coca Codo Sinclair Dam under China’s “Belt & Road Initiative.” Construction started in 2010 and the dam was put in use in 2016. However, by 2018, 7,648 large and small cracks had been identified on the dam’s wall.

Source: Aboluo, March 8, 2023

Renting a “Girlfriend”

China’s one-child policy has now generated a new industry – “The girlfriend” rental business. Chinese tradition is that a son (but not a daughter) will carry on the family heritage. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forced people to have only one child, some families chose to abort the pregnancy if the baby was a girl. China’s seventh census in 2020 showed that the male to female ratio in China was 105 to 100 and there were 35.9 million more males than females.

As a result, many young men cannot find girlfriends. Of course, there are reasons such as work pressure and so on other than the population parity. A new business started that when a young man goes home for Chinse New Year or other occasion, he hires a woman to go together with him and act as his girlfriend to quiet down his parents’ pressure on him to find a girlfriend.

An article reported that in the year 2022, a woman lending herself out as a “girlfriend” charged 1,000 yuan per day for her services (the price could go to 2,500 yuan per day during holidays) and she made 40,000 yuan (US$ 6,000) from this business.

Source: Guancha, March 17, 2023

China’s Local Government Finances Are under Severe Pressure

Statistics from China’s Ministry of Finance show that from January through February of this year, the public budget revenue of local governments was RMB 2.38 trillion, an annual growth rate of only 2 percent; national tax revenue decreased compared to the same period last year. Revenue from the sale of state-owned land use rights was 562.7 billion yuan, down 29 percent from the same period last year.

A professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics said that local governments have been in financial trouble for a long time and that the three-year epidemic has deepened the crisis. The economic slowdown has reduced local government revenues and property market adjustments have caused a sharp decline in local government finances. Some local governments are in financial distress.

This year’s central government work report mentioned that, “Some grassroots governments have large deficits.” The budget report emphasized the requirements of living a tight life and keeping a firm grip on budget management, asset allocation, and government procurement.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), March 21, 2023

Chinese Peasant Retirees Receive $324 a year as Pension

A posting about a Chinese peasant’s income has been spreading widely over the Internet. The author said that her mother-in-law, a migrant worker (a peasant who came to the city to work) in Chengdu City, Chongqing Province, where she has been since 2005, receives a pension of107 yuan (US$16) each month. However, only one single grocery shopping trip (she avoided the expensive items) had cost her 110 yuan. She was not the worst though. The author’s mother, a peasant in Henan Province, received only 240 yuan (US$35) pension – in the whole year.

With such a small amount of money, medical treatment is nothing but a remote concept. After a villager was diagnosed with cancer at a county’s hospital, he ended his life by drinking pesticides. He didn’t bother with a re-check at a provincial level hospital (which has better medical resources and whose diagnosis could be more reliable), because the travel expense (to the city) was too high.

In another report, the Yicai Media Group reported that the average pension for peasants in China is 188 yuan ($27) per month, which is only 5.26 percent of the pension for urban employee retirees (3,577 yuan per month). The communist regime in China has long treated peasants as second class citizens and provided them with inferior services as compared with the city dwellers.

Though China defined the male retirement age as 60 and female as 50 or 55 depending on their work type, 510 million, or one-third of the young elderly (people of Age 60-69) are still working. Based on the statistics of the young elderly, they accounted for 6.8 percent of the worker population in China in the “China’s Census – 2020” report. Among them, 62.44 percent are working in the agricultural fields.

1. Secret China, March 17, 2023
2. Sina, March 17, 2023

Travel Data and Other Sources May Indicate Beijing’s Claim of1.4 Billion Population Is a Fake Number

The Chinese New Year period is the peak travel time for Chinese people. During this period, people working in different cities (including migrant workers) return to their hometown and then afterwards come back to the cities where they work. Also many people travel for tourism.

According to China’s Ministry of Transportation, in the 40-day Chinese New Year period (15 days before the New Year and 25 days after), there were 4.7 billion person-times (if a person rode the train 3 times, it would be counted as 3 person-times) travelling in China in 2023. That number was .57 billion in 2019 (the last year before COVID spread). Travel went down by 924 million person-times.

This could indicate a huge population loss (t could be in the hundreds of millions) in China due to COVID, but the Chinese Communist Party just hid the information.

There are other sources indirectly supporting the suspicion. In June 2022, hacker “ChinaDan” obtained data from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau’s database of individual information. The database had information (name, birth date, address, picture, phone number, etc.) of only 970 million people.

In 2021, overseas media reported that internal data from the Ministry of Public Security showed that China had only 780 million ID cards at that time (an ID card is mandatory for every Chinese citizen who is over 16 years of age). According to China’s Seventh Census in 2020, 81 percent of the people in China were 16 or above. Assuming all the 780 million ID cards are for these people, then the total population would be 960 million.

Source: Epoch Times, March 11, 2023

China’s Official Media: Live a Frugal Life

On March 5, China’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) released the budget report for 2022 and the budget proposal for 2023, emphasizing that next year’s fiscal reform includes the strict implementation of the policy of “living a frugal life.”

The state-run Economic Daily followed up with an article stating that, in the face of various risk challenges and spending needs for people’s livelihood, the “money bag” is not loose and “fiscal revenue and expenditure will remain in a tight balance for a long time.”

The article said that Party and government organs must “live a frugal life” as a regular disciplinary requirement, strictly controlling non-essential and flexible expenditures, while cutting administrative expenses.

It called for “no spending without a budget” and advised against arbitrary extra spending. It also demanded that financial supervision be strengthened and that violations be seriously investigated and punished so that financial discipline becomes an untouchable “high voltage line.”

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), March 12, 2023