Project description

Vaccine scandals are not new to Chinese parents. In July 2018, Jilin-based Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology was found to have sold some 252,600 substandard DPT vaccines to the Shandong Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The news was not noticed by the public until an article named King of Vaccine spreaded widely in Wechat Moments in July 21.

Netease Datablog was the first Chinese media that used data journalism to tell the story. This project has two articles. The first story was published in July 22, 2018. In this article, we found that there were at least 14 vaccine scandals happened over just the past five years. We also analysed civil and criminal judgment documents related to vaccines accidents from last five years, found that bribery and misfeasance were very common in every link of China’s vaccine management due to lack of systematic regulatory oversight.

The second story was published two days later. Many Chinese parents felt panic and lost their faith in China-made vaccines becasue of these accidents. But when they turned to imported vaccines, they found imported vaccines very hard to find. We analysed lot release records in 2017 from Chinese National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, and
tried to find why imported vaccines are rare in China.

What makes this project innovative?

One thing about this project is that the key data we use are from public media reports and legal judgment documents. By analysing them, we found why Chinese children keep suffering from problematic vaccines, and why imported vaccines are rare.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

This project was the first news report that used data journalism on the vaccine scandal. Our stories provide additional information and new narrative sight about this major public event, and has been viewed more than a million times on our publishing platforms combined.

Source and methodology

WiseNews, OpenLaw, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese National Institutes for Food and Drug Control

Technologies Used

Python is used for data acquisition, Excel is used for data storage and cleaning, and Adobe Illustrator is used for data visualization.

Project members

Liangxian Chen, Yusong Wu, Xiaojing Guo, Penglu Zhao, Xiaoqing Ma


Additional links


Click Follow to keep up with the evolution of this project:
you will receive a notification anytime the project leader updates the project page.