World Population Reaches 7 Billion, Chinese Netizen Reactions

A group of Chinese spell out the Chinese words for "7 billion people".

Apartment windows in China.

From NetEase:

Facing a 7 billion people world — Crowding unavoidable

September 4th morning, at a residential apartment on the East Second Ring in Changsha city of Hunan province, every window is the same like copies produced on an assembly line. 2011 October 31, according to United Nations statistics, the world’s population reached 7 billion on this day. This world that bears all our souls, emotions, and bodies now already has 7 billion people, yet 50 years ago, this planet’s population was less than half of what it is today. When did our planet become this crowded? [click images to enlarge]

A group of Chinese spell out the Chinese words for "7 billion people".

2011 July 11, on the streets of Hetan district in Zhuzhou city of Hunan province, a group of special “knights” formed the words “7 billion people” to welcome the 22nd annual “World Population Day”, hoping to attract people’s attention to the population problem.

A footprint of a newborn baby on its birth record in China.

October 28th, Changsha city’s Anzhen Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, the doctor completes a birth record for a newborn baby. This little footprint is the first testimony of this baby’s arrival into this world.

Chinese shoppers crowd around a newly opening Zara store in China.

2011 April 28th 9:50am, Changsha’s La Nova opens and the doors to Zara are already crowded with shoppers waiting to enter the store.

A Chinese public bus ticket seller squeezes in another rider onto an already overcrowded public bus.

July 21st 6:18pm, on the 51 bus, the ticket seller uses all of her strength to squeeze more passengers onto an already overcrowded public bus.

Chinese participants squeeze into a car at a contest in Changsha Helong Stadium.

September 12th, Changsha’s Helong Stadium, a competition for squeezing people into a car is being held. Participating teams compete to see who can fill their cars with the most people.

Crowds of job applicants at a job fair in China.

A job fair in Changsha, where there are so many applicants that not even a drop of water can slip through.

Chinese people lining up for passes to see the doctor at a hospital in China.

September 6th 5:09am, at the Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital in Hunan province, the city residents in line have been squeezed into a ball, with many people even falling asleep while standing. Every day there are innumerable scenes of queues just like this, lining up all through the night until morning, without sleeping, just to get a pass to meet with a doctor.

Traffic along a Shaoshan road in Changsha, China.

October 21st 6:37pm, Changsha Shaoshan Road, public buses and private cars in traffic. This year, the number of private automobiles in Changsha have surpassed a million, and as of the end of June, the total number of motor vehicles throughout the country reached 217 million.

Chinese garbage scavengers sift through a landfill on the outskirts of Changsha, China for anything of use and value.

A landfill on the outskirts of Changsha, garbage scavengers sift through the piles of garbage for anything useful. As population increases, the per capita share of resources decreases. A population of 7 billion consumes a huge amount of the planet’s natural resources every day, so the recycling and reuse of resources have become a problem that needs to be solved.

Smokestacks and chimneys dot the landscape of a town in Hunan.

Hunan Lengshuijiang, smokestacks dominate a small county town. This city that has relied on natural resources to develop now faces serious resource depletion. Next, the question of how to transform [the city’s economy] has become the primary issue.

Red polluted water flows into the Xiang River in China from a nearby sewage outlet.

September 17th afternoon, a sewage outlet near the Xiangtan Zhubugang Chemical district where red polluted water like fresh blood flows directly into the Xiang River. Xiangtan has become scarred from its growth and development as a coastal city.

Tw little girls in the mountainside picking wild vegetables for food.

Even after Hongban Primary School students and sisters Wang Qin and Wang Fei get out of school, they still need to go into the mountains to dig up wild vegetables for their meals. The inequality of education and the gap between the rich and poor are directly reflected upon the children.

A little Chinese boy with grains of rice on the corners of his mouth.

May 4th, Hunan province Loudi city Xinhua county Fengjia town Henglaping village Happy Primary School, public charity volunteers prepared dinner for the children. 8-year-old Feng Xian eats happily, with grains of rice stuck to the corners of his mouth. October 26th, Premier Wen Jiabao opened the State Council executive meeting, implementing a rural student nutrition improvement program: The central government will annually allocate over 16 billion yuan, an amount equal to 3 yuan for each student each day.

Couples crowd a marriage registry in China to get married on September 9th, an auspicious date.

September 9th morning, Changsha city Yuhua district Civil Affairs Bureau Marriage Registry. Because it is a good date, couples waiting to get married have overcrowded the registry’s waiting room. In the near future, they too will add new life to this planet.

A Chinese family living in a 16 square meter apartment in Changsha, China.

Changsha city East Second Ring, Changsha Heavy Machinery Factory dormitory, 65-year-old Huang Ronghua’s family lives in this 16 square meter small home. In years past, he’s been named a model worker 5 times, and his family has already grown to number 8 people. With housing prices being too high, many young people cannot afford to buy their own homes and squeeze in to live with their parents, becoming a characteristic of these times.

Two Chinese centenarians celebrating a birthday.

Changsha city’s first social welfare home Shouxing Apartments, everyone celebrates the birthday of centenarian Xie Shunhua (left). Her husband Luo (right) is also a centenarian.

The worn and aged hands of a Chinese shadow puppeteer.

Zhuzhou county Taihu town, the aged hands of shadow puppet puppeteer Tang Shengxi. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences report show that in the 30 years after 2011, the aging of the China’s population will accelerate until 2030 where China’s population of those aged 65 and over will surpass Japan, becoming the the nation with the most aged population in the world.

Comments from NetEase:

仙芙 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

It must be said, NetEase writers are “American running dogs”! All of them are “dark/negative” pictures, even writing “Even after Hongban Primary School students and sisters Wang Qin and Wang Fei get out of school, they still need to go into the mountains to dig up wild vegetables for their meals. The inequality of education and the gap between the rich and poor are directly reflected upon the children.” I bet [the writer of this post] is going to be cursed to death by certain people!

涛涛村村长 [网易广西贵港市网友]:

America, how about giving me a ticket to Mars?

失去理智了 [网易山东省网友]:

I’ve always believed that one of [Communist] Party’s policies is good, that being family planning/birth control.

More and more of the problems in today’s society all trace back to overpopulation.

Corrupt government officials are indeed detestable, but those who keep having children, society’s hypocrites and those who help them, are even worse.

Don’t tell me how the rural countryside is this or that, come and take a look at the rural countryside where I am and look at how many people insist on having a boy saying it is so they can be taken care of in their old age.

Hope family planning can be intensified. Don’t let everywhere be crammed full of people.

林无敌0 [网易广东省佛山市网友]:

Those who were worms in their past lives have now all become humans, so how can there not be a lot of people?

网易广东省深圳市网友 [zhangyb117]:

Let 2012 come, humankind doesn’t know to cherish you [the planet]!

网易江苏省徐州市网友 [死心塌地跟党走]:

Look at photo number 8, the pickpocket wearing yellow can be seen in the act of stealing!

网易广西河池市网友 [qq3000qq]:

If 6 billion people of low/poor character died throughout the entire world then everything would be good. The would would be peaceful, clean, environmentally friendly. Children these days don’t know how beautiful our environment was back in our day, how good the air was. When my old man went out on his rounds back in the day, the trees beside the roads all had a lot of monkeys, but now they’ve all died and disappeared. Streams, rivers, and lakes have all become black and smelly, the fish, shrimp, and shellfish all having died and disappeared as well. I pray 6 billion of the world’s people can die, and I won’t even begrudge myself being included amongst them.

我的跟帖正在审核中 [网易广西南宁市网友]:

If China only had 500 million people, I wonder how various aspects of life would be improved? Environment, prices, the legal system, people’s characters, traffic, per capita resources…

真理会会长兼行政总监 [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

I’ve gone to the world’s largest American Disney [Disney World], and experienced everything over two days. I go to a China amusement park and it is 1/10th of what America’s Disney is. An entire day and in the end I discover that all I am experiencing are lines, fucking waiting in line. Lots of people means wasting time, and time is not just money but also life. SHIT!

西门大罐人 [网易北京市网友]:

High population is just one aspect, but the more important aspect is overconcentration/overcrowding of population. As such, even if China only had 100 million people and they were all packed into those few major cities, it would still be unbearable. The key is still to reduce the gap in development between various places, and not blindly concentrating investment in big cities.

可喝的洗洁精 [网易广东省网友]:

The current situation everyone sees. The larger the city, the richer the city, the more the country/state invests in it!! The poorer and more backward an area and industry, the more it is forgotten and neglected. People are scrambling towards the cities, preferring to scavenge garbage in the cities than live the life of a “low-class person” in the rural countryside! This is a culture-orientation problem, a police guidance problem…

What do you think? About the increasing population? About the problems of an increasing population? Of possible solutions?


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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