As the Taiwan Times reports … over the weekend, Tencent “seems to have inadvertently released what is potentially the actual number of infections and deaths.
According to the report, late on Saturday evening, Tencent, on its webpage titled “Epidemic Situation Tracker”, showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in China as standing at 154,023, 10 times the official figure at the time. It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure.
And while the number of cured cases was only 269, well below the official number that day of 300, most ominously, the death toll listed was 24,589, vastly higher than the 300 officially listed that day.
Screengrab late Feb 1
Moments later, it showed the official numbers
This was not the first time Tencent has done this: as Taiwan Times notes, Chinese netizens have noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics.
This is where it gets even more bizarre: contrary to claiming that this was just a “fat finger” mistyping of data, observant Chinese netizens also noticed that each time the screen with the large numbers appears, it shows a comparison with the previous day’s data which demonstrates a “reasonable” incremental increase, much like comparisons of official numbers.
This led many in the mainland to speculate that Tencent has two sets of data, the real data and “processed” data.
Coding error? Or did the truth tumble out? The higher figures match the predictions of western epidemiologist Jonathon Read.
After all, as the WSJ itself reported in late January, China was explicitly manipulating the casualty number by listing pneumonia as the cause of death instead of coronavirus. Subsequent reports that Wuhan officials were rushing to cremate coronavirus casualties before they could be counted did not add to the credibility of the official data.
If this turns out to be true, the people of China will be furious at the Government of China. Indeed, the whole world will be furious.
This also explains a glaring discrepancy in news reports. Seventeen cities in China are locked down, 5 million people left Wuhan before the lockdown there started, the recently-built hospital in Wuhan for a thousand people has bars on the windows to prevent escape, victims are rushed to cremation without funerals, and there are reports of people being shot for disobeying quarantine. You don’t take these measures if the new virus is only flu-like, or has a small death rate.
The Chinese are acting as if the coronavirus is much more lethal than the flu, and these figures are in line with their actions. Watch what they do, not what they say.
What do our western governments know? They have spies, intelligence networks, contacts, etc.
Maybe it’s all ok and we can go back to sleep, but maybe not.