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Top searches in China: Childbirth, parenting, COVID in Sanya
National Health Commission: The lack of daycare services for infants and kids is the top factor that hinders China's childbirth.
The discussion over childbirth has been trending in China's social media as the National Health Care Commission recently teamed up with 16 government departments and issued a guideline to boost population growth. Other trending topics vary from the Chinese version of TikTok Douyin’s measures on clamping down rumors to the city of Sanya's update on the battle against COVID-19.
Wednesday's top 10 trending searches on Douyin as of 5:00 p.m. (0900 GMT):
#1 National Health Commission talks about the top barrier to childbirth
#2 Photos from the set of TV drama "Crush can't be hidden" revealed
Fans are excited about photos from the set of "Crush can't be hidden", a TV drama adapted from popular web fiction of the same name.
#3 Make clean and safe drinking water accessible to all villagers
Since the 18th National Party Congress, tens of thousands of rural drinking water safety projects have been rolled out across China, giving villagers, especially those in poor regions, access to clean and safe drinking water, according to an episode on providing everyone with safe drinking water that was aired on Tuesday's 新闻联播 Xinwen Lianbo/News Simulcast.
The clip is from China Central Television's special program 解码十年 decoding the decade, a program dedicated to presenting efforts made in different fields to make people's life better.
#4 Take hero Wan Huiwen home
Firefighter Wan Huiwen's cremains arrived in his hometown in east China's Shandong province. The hero saved two people during a rescue mission on August 11, but a blast caused by the fire took his life away, unfortunately. Before the accident, Wan served in southwest China's Chongqing municipality and had won multiple awards.
#5 Lv Yi's husband Qian Yongchen accused of tuition fraud
The acting couples' performance training institute is in a scandal of tuition fraud, and the institute was sued for liability disputes, according to information online.
#6 Douyin teamed up with 100 media to end 319 rumors
Since 2022, Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has cooperated with nearly 10 media and other organizations to deal with 3.19 million pieces of misinformation and marked 900,000 pieces of information as doubtful, as released on its "Open Day on Managing Misinformation".
#7 Boy weeps when dreamed of his deceased grandfather
#8 Toddler bites snake to death after it bit her -- Newsweek
#9 League of Legends to delete inactive accounts -- Gameriv
#10 Sanya requisitions 33 hotels as quarantine sites
The city of Sanya in South China's Hainan province announced on Wednesday that the government will requisition 33 hotels as quarantine sites in the fight against the recent COVID-19 flare up. From August 1 to August 16, Sanya registered 3976 confirmed cases and 5287 asymptomatic cases.
#1 National Health Commission talks about the top barrier to childbirth
China is in dire need to boost the population as most provinces released the birth data of 2021. In 29 provinces that released the data, many hit records low.
With only 515,800 new babies in 2021, east China's Anhui Province witnessed the number of newborns plummeting by 47.6 percent compared with 2017, dropping for the fourth consecutive year. Besides, the birth rate of other populous provinces like Henan, Hunan, and Shangdong, also hit rock bottom last year, according to Yicai.
Yicai has also collected birth rate and other related data from 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions that offered the information. Below is a translation.
Compared with 2020, the number of births in China falls by about 1.38 million, and China's population growth is set to turn negative by 2025, said the National Health Commission.
Local governments across China have already come up with measures like extending maternal leave, handing out subsidies to families with multiple kids to fight against the rapid decline. And more measures are on the way.
On Tuesday, China's National Health Commission teamed up with 16 government departments and published a guideline about promoting and improving measures that support births.
On the following day, the commission held a press conference to further explain the guideline, pointing out that the lack of daycare services for infants and kids is the top factor that hinders childbirth.
Over one-third of families in China's cities need childcare services, but in reality, the supply is obviously insufficient, especially low-cost services, said Hao Fuqing, the deputy director of the National development and reform commission.
Multiple researches and international experience show that enhancing the development of childcare will have a significant impact on reliving families' burden and boosting the willingness of couples to have kids, he added.
Tuesday's guideline was released to implement policies to support each couple to have a third child, push the government, institutions and individuals to fulfill their responsibilities in creating a friendly environment for marriage and fertility, and promote population growth, according to the guideline.
Detailed support policies listed in the guideline included promoting prenatal and postnatal care, further developing nursing systems, improving the mechanism for maternity leave and insurance, offering preferential house-purchase policies to families with more than one child, adding high-quality education resources, creating a fertility-friendly employment environment, and setting up a complete service system on population.
The guideline also pointed to prevention of unwanted pregnancies and a decrease in non-medical abortions.
All counties, cities and provinces are required to set up at least one government-funded maternity and child care institution to improve the welfare of pregnant women and newborn babies.
More low-cost nursing services will also be provided. Tailored campaigns to build more cheaper nursery services, such as day care and kindergartens, are being promoted. This would include public-funded services and the private facilities that receive public funding.
Employers are encouraged to offer employees child care services as a work benefit. Kindergartens are encouraged to admit younger children who are from 2 to 3 years old. Kindergartens in China normally admit children older than age 3.
The maternity leave system is being improved across the country, helping employees balance work and family, as well as promoting fair employment and career development.
The State will draw up a maternity insurance payment policy to ensure the safety of the maternity fund. Unemployed women can enjoy maternity medical care by participating in basic medical insurance for urban and rural residents.
Beneficial housing policies are being offered to families with more children. For example, cities are encouraged to raise the amount of housing loans with lower interest rates to those families. Each region is being encouraged to explore beneficial leasing and housing policies to families with more children.
The guideline requires implementation of additional deductions for personal income tax on the cost of caring for infants and children younger than 3 years old. It also establishes an incentive mechanism for employers to protect the maternity rights and interests of employees in accordance with the law. Financial support will be increased to enterprises, including those providing maternal and child care services and related vocational training.
In the comment section, some applauded the plan to provide more low-cost childcare services, saying that before the reform and opening up, companies had their own nurseries and kindergartens, and schools. Therefore, employees wouldn't have such worries.
But some other netizens disagreed. They argued that high housing prices, living pressure in cities and the possible career standstill brought by childbirth are the main reasons why they have no plans to raise kids.
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