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Elon Musk Sounds The Alarm About China

The billionaire has become very influential in China, which is a key market for Tesla.
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Elon Musk knows he has become the most influential chief executive officer in the world. 

With this new power, he now uses his Twitter account, which has more than 96.8 million followers, to share the issues that interest and concern him. 

The billionaire entrepreneur sees no limit to the subjects he intends to discuss. 

There are no borders either. 

Besides politics and economics, one of his latest concerns is the decline of the world's population.

For several months, the richest man in the world has been worried about a trend observed in rich countries. 

He began last month to draw attention to Japan, which has experienced a big drop in the number of inhabitants in 2021.

Admittedly, the decline in the Japanese population is not new, but the proportions in which it is declining is worrisome. 

"At risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birth rate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist," Musk posted on Twitter on May 7. "This would be a great loss for the world."

'Population Collapse'

"At risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birth rate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist," Musk posted on Twitter on May 7. "This would be a great loss for the world."

Musk later shared with his millions of followers his fears about the declining population of Italy, South Korea and also Hong Kong.

"Italy will have no people if these trends continue," the mogul posted on Twitter on May 24.

Now the tech tycoon is sounding the alarm about another big country: China.

"Most people still think China has a one-child policy," Musk wrote on Twitter on June 6. "China had its lowest birthdate ever last year, despite having a three-child policy!"

He then issued a very worrying warning

"At current birth rates, China will lose ~40% of people every generation! Population collapse."

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article that says China's population is set to get smaller for the first time since the Great Famine struck 60 years ago. 

According to the latest figures from China's National Bureau of Statistics, China's population has fallen from 1.41212 billion to just 1.41260 billion in 2021.

That is a record increase of just 480,000, but a fraction of the annual growth of around eight million 10 years ago.

The figures suggest that China will begin its demographic transition this year, the population will drop for the first time since the Great Famine of 1959-1961.

Even the projections of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences predict it: This perilous turning point will indeed occur in 2022, almost 10 years earlier than expected. 

The working-age population began to decline in 2014. 

As a result, the one-child policy was definitively abandoned in 2016, then replaced last summer by a “three-child policy”, multiplying the financial incentives for potential mothers.

It has been met with little success so far. 

The birth rate in 2021 had fallen to 1.15 children per woman and appears to be falling further this year to approach the lowest rate on the planet: 1.1 in South Korea. 

As for the generation renewal threshold, it is around 2.1 children per woman in developed countries.

China's total fertility rate was 2.6 in the late 1980s, well above the 2.1 needed to replace deaths. It has been between 1.6 and 1.7 since 1994, and slipped to 1.3 in 2020 and just 1.15 in 2021.

In the United States the total fertility rate is 1.6 births per woman. 

In addition, China has fewer women of child-bearing age than might be expected, according to the BBC. 

Limited to having only one child since 1980, many couples opted for a boy, lifting the sex at birth ratio from 106 boys for every 100 girls (the ratio in most of the rest of the world) to 120, and in some provinces to 130.

Musk has a special relationship with China. 

Tesla is one of the few foreign multinationals that the Chinese authorities have not required to create a joint venture with a local group in order to set up and operate in the country. 

Musk has always refused to criticize Beijing to the chagrin of human rights organizations. 

Tesla has a factory in Shanghai, which serves China, the rest of Asia and also Europe.