A Chinese economist’s suggestion that Beijing’s handling of coronavirus would be responsible for about $10tn of China’s economic growth this year has been scrubbed from social media after an online backlash.
Li Ling, head of the China Health Development research centre at Peking University, estimated that efforts to fight the pandemic would be responsible for earnings of Rmb67tn in 2020, or about two-thirds of China’s gross domestic product.
But her presentation at the weekend to the “Understanding China” forum in the southern city of Guangzhou sparked angry comments online. Some apparently misunderstood Ms Li’s estimate as suggesting China had profited from the virus and accused her of glossing over the country’s sacrifices in fighting a virus that killed about 4,700 and infected more than 90,000.
“How was that calculated? Zero minus negative one equals one?” Ahu, an anchor at a Wuhu television station, wrote on Weibo, the Twitter-like microblog.