If these Tencent Numbers on the Chinese Wuhan Virus are Accurate — and it’s a big if — then the Mortality Rate is 15.9%
Tencent‘s web site has, over the last several days, had some very different numbers on the number of infected in China with the Wuhan virus, and a much, much higher death toll and mortality rate than is being made public.
Why would Tencent have this data on the Wuhan virus? As Quartz magazine reported in 2017, Tencent was a key test bed for the beta roll-out of China’s notorious social credit scoring system. According to Quartz:
“Tech giant Tencent is gradually testing and expanding its “social credit” system that will give users a numeric rating based on their spending habits and social connections, two years after rival Alibaba launched its own social credit system. A source familiar with the matter this week confirmed that Tencent expanded its pool of “beta test” users for Tencent Credit, the name of its social credit system.”
Faced with a massive outbreak of an uncontrolled virus, the Chinese government, no doubt, turned to its social credit scoring system to attempt to track the virus.
According to Taiwan News, the following numbers of those infected and dead briefly appeared on the Tencent website, and did so on several different days, with each day’s numbers higher than the previous day, before being promptly removed each day:
This means the mortality rate of the virus is:
24,589/154,023 x 100 = 15.96%
There is speculation that this inadvertent publication of the numbers was an attempt to leak them to the world.
The number of suspected infected is 79,808, four times the official number.
The Taiwan News is a highly ranked news site on the Alexa global web traffic ranking system (ranked 7,576) and is seen as a credible, responsible news outlet founded in 1949. (Alexa ranks the most trafficked site on the planet as Google at 1.) Here is the Taiwan News Alexa ranking as of 2/5/2020:
According to the Taiwan News article:
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 has led some netizens to speculate that Tencent has two sets of data, the real data and “processed” data.
Some are speculating that a coding problem could be causing the real “internal” data to accidentally appear. Others believe that someone behind the scenes is trying to leak the real numbers.
However, the “internal” data held by Beijing may not reflect the true extent of the epidemic. According to multiple sources in Wuhan, many coronavirus patients are unable to receive treatment and die outside of hospitals.
A severe shortage of test kits also leads to a lower number of diagnosed cases of infection and death. In addition, there have been many reports of doctors being ordered to list other forms of death instead of coronavirus to keep the death toll artificially low.
If these numbers are accurate, they would greatly exceed the 10% mortality rate that the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website lists as the mortality rate for the 1918 Spanish flu.
From the U.S. CDC website on the 1918 Spanish flu:
“It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide…”
50,000,000/500,000,000 x 100 = 10.0% mortality rate for the 1918 Spanish flu, which is much higher than other estimates of 2.5% or 5.0% of the 1918 Spanish flu.
If these Tencent website numbers of infected and dead from the Wuhan virus are accurate, then it is a reasonable question to ask if this virus is actually a bio-weapon that escaped containment.
The reality is that we will likely not have to wait too long to find out if this is fake news, or if the Tencent data is an inadvertent or deliberate leak of the actual data.