Caixin Global – Latest China News & Headlines

Home >


CX Tech is Caixin Global's real-time tech news portal, featuring 24-hour news, short-form analysis, and roundups from business and tech media in China.

Alibaba’s Zhang Yong Tops 2020 Forbes China Best CEOs List
Trending: Family Feud Raises Big Questions Over Succession in China’s Multi-Million “Family” Businesses
Shanghai-Listed Foxconn Internet’s Cloud Service Sales Up 4% in First Half of 2020
U.S.-Listed Chinese Companies Nio and Huya Have Something to Cheer About
Apple Edges Huawei Out of No. 1 in Quarterly Tablet Shipments
Chinese Finance Platform Lufax Files for U.S. IPO of up to $3 Billion
China Mainland Leads U.S. in Fortune Global 500 Companies But Trails in Profitability
Trending in China: Tencent – Fighting Youth Unemployment or Enemy of Older Workers?
Tencent Pushes for Merger That Would Create $10 Billion Chinese Twitch
Tencent Music to Establish Joint Venture with Universal Music
Trending: How U.S.-China Relations Are Causing Netizens to Read the Small Print as Rumors Fly
Qualcomm Lobbies U.S. to Resume Chip Sales to Huawei
Trending in China: Excited About Returning to College Campuses? Not So Quick With Covid-19 Controls
Twitter Joins Microsoft as Another Possible Purchaser of TikTok’s U.S. Business: Report
Electric-Car Maker XPeng Files for U.S. IPO
Xiaomi Still Top Dog in Indian Smartphone Market Despite Tensions
Trending in China: Can You Really Launch a Company Without Saying What it Does?
China’s WeWork rival Ucommune withdraws $100m US IPO, eyes backdoor listing
SMIC Profits Soar to $138m in Second Quarter
Foldable Phone-Maker Plans Shenzhen IPO, Dispelling Rumors of U.S. Listing
Trending in China: Traditional Chinese Rice Porridge Vs. Western Milk Diet—What’s Better to Fight Covid-19?

Yilin Chen / Jul 27, 2020 04:50 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

Nutrition is a big talking point online in Covid-19 China as lawmakers and infectious disease experts lure people away from rice porridge towards high-protein milk and eggs. The debate has evolved into a comparison between Chinese and Western diets, and a chance to air concerns over food security.

What’s the story?

In April, Shanghai-based infectious disease expert Zhang Wenhong advised people to avoid having porridge for breakfast because of the limited nutritional value. “During the pandemic, Chinese kids should instead eat eggs and milk to strengthen their immune system. Additionally, proteins are critical for patients to get better and develop antibodies,” he said.

While Zhang’s remarks drew mixed reactions on social media, similar arguments were made in the national legislature. At this year’s National People’s Congress, a representative from Yili Group, one of the largest dairy producers in China, proposed that the government should make “lifelong milk drinking” a national strategy. She suggested that everyone should drink 300 grams of milk per day and that the government should actively promote domestically produced milk.

Although China is the third-largest producer of cow’s milk in the world according to the China Dairy Industry Association, domestic dairy consumption still has a lot of room to grow. The average person in China drinks 36 liters of milk a year, one-third of the world average and less than half of the average in Asia, the Yili representative said. China’s milk consumption also varies greatly between big cities and rural areas.

China recommended a daily target of 300 ml of milk back in 1988 and again this year in national guidance for preventing and treating Covid-19. However, even though many people recognize the nutritional value of dairy products, the push for milk drinking on a national level has sparked concern over food safety. There is growing criticism that dairy giants like Yili might be exerting political influence and manipulating industry standards to boost profits, though milk producers insist that these claims are rumors.

What are people saying online?

The opinions of outspoken professionals have prompted netizens to rethink their food choices. Some people defend rice porridge, saying that “it’s a typical Chinese breakfast” and even accusing Zhang of “fawning to a Western diet.” In response, the majority of internet users encourage each other to follow the expert’s advice, especially since the nation is still nervous about Covid-19 infections.

However, some people feel caught in a dilemma. They wish to consume more dairy products, but worry about food safety. Many cited the 2008 scandal in which Chinese baby formula products were found to have been tainted with the toxic chemical melamine. “Instead of pushing for a ‘national strategy’, companies like Yili should instead focus on improving their products. Then people would naturally buy their milk.” one user commented.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (

Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code