Coronavirus: Chinese tech giant allegedly publish “real” data

TAIPEI: Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company Tencent has allegedly published “real” data on the novel coronavirus deaths, with briefly listing death toll as 24,589 — way too higher than over 500 deaths China has officially announced to date.

According to Taiwan News, “Tencent… seems to have inadvertently released what is potentially the actual number of infections and deaths, which were astronomically higher than official figures”.

Tencent, on its webpage titled “Epidemic Situation Tracker,” showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China as standing at 154,023 – over 10 times the official figure given to the world on February 1.

It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure.

“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”.

Once people noticed this, Tencent immediately updated the numbers to reflect the government’s “official” numbers.

“Netizens noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics,” said the report.

Feb. 1 chart showing higher numbers (left), chart showing “official” numbers (right). (Internet image)

Coding problem?

Some people speculated a coding problem may be behind the real “internal” data but others believe that someone is actually trying to reveal the real numbers.

“According to multiple sources in Wuhan, many coronavirus patients are unable to receive treatment and die outside of hospitals.”

There have been multiple reports of Wuhan officials cremating deceased coronavirus victims before they could be added to the official death toll.

Its fake

A spokesperson for Tencent told BuzzFeed News the screenshots were fake: “Unfortunately, several social media sources have circulated doctored images of our ‘Epidemic Situation Tracker’ featuring false information which we never published,” the spokesperson said. “Tencent does not condone the dissemination of inaccurate information and fake news especially during this sensitive period. We reserve all legal rights and remedies in this matter.”

Official figures fishy

The Wall Street Journal reported that the coronavirus numbers coming out of China are “fishy”.

If the numbers from the alleged Tencent leak are accurate, it would put coronavirus’ mortality rate at almost 16 per cent. By comparison, SARS‘ mortality rate was 9.6 per cent, reports CCN.

Caijing, an independent magazine based in Beijing that covers societal, political, and economic issues, has also claimed that the Communist Party of China (CCP) is underreporting the extent of the coronavirus outbreak.

Caijing’s article on Coronavirus that detailed how Wuhan officials are not reporting real figures was censored in China.

As of Sunday, the official death toll in China rose to 811, with 37,000 confirmed cases.

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