Chinese Censors Delete Leak of Plummeting 2023 Birth Rates


Chinese censors on Wednesday quickly deleted an article in a maternity-related news service that leaked plummeting birth rate data for 2023, revealing China’s population crisis is even worse than the regime has previously admitted.

The article in question appeared on the Tieba social media platform, which is run by online giant Baidu, and was quoted by a news service called Mother and Infant Daily News.

Tieba, a word that means “let’s post articles,” is a huge collection of forums similar to Reddit in concept. Baidu describes it as the largest online community in the world due to its vast number of users.

An account in Tieba called City Data posted data on Wednesday that said 7.88 million babies were born in 2023, which was a stunning 1.68 million less than 2022’s total. Measured against China’s 11 million deaths, this meant the national population declined by a net 3.12 million.

Within a matter of hours, Chinese censors tracked down and deleted the City Data post on Tieba.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) found the quick censorship curious since the Chinese Communist Party might be touchy about discussing its population crisis, but declining birth rates are no great secret, and City Data’s numbers were in line with projections made by prominent demographers. A journal called China Philanthropist made a prediction of fewer than eight million births in May that turned out to be highly accurate.