- Chinese government has spent over $10 billion on the new epidemic.
- Nearly five thousand infected and over one hundred dead.
- Chinese users of social media are trying to draw attention to the market owner where the epidemic likley began.
This month might not be the best January we’ve lived. Australia has been under attack from both fire and water. The conflicts between the United States and the Middle East keep escalating. We’ve even lost Kobe Bryant. While in China, the new Wuhan coronavirus has infected 4,633 people with 106 deaths by January 28, and still worsening (click here to follow the latest data updates).
According to the Ministry of Finance, the Chinese government has already spent more than $10 billion on the control and prevention of the epidemic. Holidays have been extended to avoid further spreading of the virus. Some are worrying that this virus would harm the economy of China, especially the Plan Xiaokang set by Deng Xiaoping, which aspirates to make China a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by 2020.
Told to stay at home during the holidays, people are trying their best to find something to do. On Sina Weibo, many users have been trying to make the keyword “Yu Tian” appear on the trending list, which would let more people see this topic. Yu Tian is the actual owner of the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, the place where the epidemic began. On January 26, a medical team tested 585 samples collected from this market, 33 of which turned out to contain the new coronavirus.
In this market, which is now closed pending further investigation, all kinds of seafood and wild animals were openly for sale, legally and illegally. The catalog includes masked palm civet, the carrier of the SARS coronavirus that caused over 700 deaths in 2003, peafowl, fox, leopard cat, and many more. Experts suspect that the new coronavirus comes from Chinese rufous horseshoe bat, which could also be found in this market.
Internet users have discovered that Yu Tian and her family hold over 50 companies across China, varying from construction to biotechnology, photovoltaics and wholesale market. The seafood market was founded two years after the SARS epidemy in 2005, situated, ironically, right next to the Wuhan Forestry Bureau. The seafood market apparently was not certified to sell wild animals, let alone those on the blacklist of trading. Somehow, Yu Tian gets away with it during all these years.
However, the keyword “Yu Tian” only appeared for a very short time on the trending list the night of January 27, which is a clear sign of censor. The trending list of Sina Weibo can be manipulated with money. Lots of celebrities have used it to promote their new movies, or eliminate themselves from the list when it’s negative topics.
In this case, people are suspecting that Sina Weibo would be too stupid to accept money from Yu Tian under this situation. The only possible reason that the keyword has disappeared is that the government had told Sina Weibo to do so. Using implicit phrases, people are discussing that the husband of Yu Tian, surnamed Zheng, might be the grandson of a high level official also surnamed Zheng in Hunan province, of which Wuhan is the capital. Still, people hope that the government does not disappoint them at this point. They believe that in the end Yu Tian would be fairly punished after the epidemic, fingers crossed.