U.S. baby gender prediction test sells like hot cakes in gender-conscious China

November 15, 2010Jing GaoNo Comments, , , , ,

Original story here

The ad on the screen says "Boy or Girl?"

A medicine claiming to detect the gender of the fetus is sneakily being sold on the Web. This is a clear violation of China’s family planning policy and regulations (Jing Gao notes: as it facilitates selective abortion, a popular but illegal surgery in male-dominant China where boys are favored over girls.). How come it can hit the market unimpeded? “IntelliGender,” the hot product, exposed the loopholes in our regulatory system.

Recently, many Chinese net users have been sharing experiences of using the “IntelliGender” to detect the gender of their unborn babies on online pregnancy and childcare discussion boards. “I visited the Chinese language Web site and bought one kit of the American IntelliGender. I used my first morning urine today. It took only 10 minutes to read the test result.” “I ordered one from the Web site. It costs 780 yuan (US$130) per kit. My heart ached a bit. But I can only be at ease if it comes from the official site.” (Jing Gao notes: However, on the product’s official site, it specifically says IntelliGender does not sell our GPT test in China or India; If the test is being sold locally in either of these markets, it is not an IntelliGender authorized sale and we do not support this product.)“I heard that the test result is only valid for boys. It’s not accurate when the result reads girl. I wonder if it’s true. Can you give me some idea, sisters?”

The Chinese language web site says, “Who said you should raise boys and girls the same way? This notion is outdated. In such a highly competitive era, you should let the child win from the starting point. You need to ‘breed babies in accordance with their gender’, including adopting corresponding dietary plans.

The Chinese Web site says “scientists isolated certain hormones that when combined with a ‘proprietary mix of chemicals’ react differently if a woman is carrying a boy or a girl.” Taking just 10 minutes, it can be performed as early as six weeks of pregnancy at home. If it shows orange color, it’s a girl; green color, a boy. “It has an over 90% accuracy rate.” (Jing Gao notes: its English ad actually boasts an accuracy rate between 78 to 80%)
Judging by over 1200 comments on the web site, many visitors have bought or intend to buy the product.

Orange for girl, green for boy

A female customer service assistant said over the phone, “We does not guarantee 100% accuracy, because the accuracy rate is actually 90%. So even if test results come out different than reality, we do not assume any responsibility.”

The assistant said the product has been on the U.S.market for 5 years and is sold in pharmacies all over the U.S. But the special circumstances in China forbid the products from entering the Chinese market. So the Chinese Web site of”IntelliGender” was registered in the U.S., and has a branch office in Hong Kong. “What we actually do is purchasing.” The price of the product in the U.S. is about $34, or about 220 yuan. “But we have to add shipping costs, customs duties, the company operating costs, and the like, so we charge 780 yuan.” When asked “how much have you sold so far,” she answered, “This is a commercial secret.”

In addition to “IntelliGender”, some Chinese web sites are also peddling the so-called “American-made Baby gender authentication agent”, asking for 380 yuan. Its customer service claimed that “We sold more than in 2000 every day. It’s 100% accurate. If not, we give a full refund.”

Since 1980s, Chinese age-old bias for boys, combined with China’s one-child policy has produced a problematic gender imbalance. In 2009, the overall boy-to-girl ratio is 119.45 to 100. In some provinces, it reached as high as 130 to 100, way higher than the normal range 103 – 103 to 100. In the last five years, China has founded over 20,000 cases of “unnecessary gender detection and termination of pregnancy without any medical warrant. ”

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