Online videos portraying squabbling families censored in China to encourage people to have more babies | World News

China desperately needs its people to have more babies.

The country is facing a demographic disaster and it’s a crisis for the economy. Put simply, there are not enough young people and too many elderly. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

The latest one being employed by Chinese censors is to take down short online videos that portray unhappy Chinese families with stories about difficult and demanding mother-in-laws and lazy husbands.

The government’s fear is that these popular videos will further discourage young Chinese from having families.

So hundreds of videos from online platforms Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok, and Kuaishou, have been removed.

They have names like, My Husband Is A Mummy’s Boy and In The Dog House With Mother-In-Law. Known as micro videos, they’re usually about one minute long.

An official statement posted by the government on China’s social media platform Weibo says these programmes cause “extreme emotions” and “amplify and exaggerate conflict”, especially the relationships between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

The problem is, as one video is removed, dozens of fakes of the original pop up online.

A mock-up of one video tells the story of a daughter-in-law who is smacked on the face for not being at home to take care of her husband and his mother, because she has been taking care of her own sick father.

The woman’s husband doesn’t support her, it turns into an argument and she decides to divorce him.

It’s a far cry from happy families.

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China’s President Xi Jinping is urging young people to get married.

In 2016 the one-child policy, introduced in 1979, was removed and Chinese are now allowed to have up to three children.

But birth rates are still falling and the country is on track to have an elderly population of 520 million people by 2050.

Young people say raising a family is too expensive and they enjoy their freedom.

It’s little wonder that China wants to scuttle scenes of squabbling families and replace them with harmonious home lives.


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