Couple being fined 0.32 million RMB for “social maintenance fee”

Author: Sein & Seamoon

In 2017, Wang Fang (alias), wife of a couple who live in Fanyu district, Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, found herself pregnant by accident. The couple thought about abortion–because two is the maximum number of children a couple is allowed to have in China–but in the end chose to keep the baby. In January 2018, the child was born, and in January 2019, Guangzhou Railway Transportation Court decided that the couple each be fined 158,799 RMB “Social Compensation Fee”, which is about 320,000 RMB for the two of them.

On May 7, 2020, the couple found their bank accounts frozen, and the family of seven descended into chaos. The couple is now living on borrowed cash, the children cannot go to kindergarten, while the children’s grandmother just had an operation for lung cancer that cost 200,000, and they have to pay 6000 RMB/month for mortgage.

According to Population and Family Planning Regulations of Guangdong Province, for each child that is “overborn”, the amount of “social maintenance fee” each parent will be fined must equal to three times of their disposable income.

The concept of “social maintenance fee” is a bizarre invention such that, since state policy only allows two children, one must compensate the society with a fine for burdening it with an “extra child”. While the two-children (formerly one child) policy is directly anti-human, the concept of “social maintenance fee” is morally questionable: how come a child become a liability to the society that need to be “maintained”. Why does the government have to charge fee for his or her future “maintenance”? Is the government afraid that the baby may turn out to be a criminal so it asks for payment in advance just in case? If so, can these parents get the money back when their child turns out to be a decent man?

Around the same time, another case showed up yet had a different outcome. In Du’an county, Hechi, Guangxi province, a couple living in the mountains, both born in the 1990s, is welcoming their tenth child. The local government gives them 350 RMB each per month, putting them under the lowest subsistence allowance.

While we applaud the couple for keeping up with a positive attitude toward life, it is worth noting that the governments across China are highly inconsistent in their implementation of this anti-human policy.


  1. Couple being fined 0.32 million RMB “social compensation fee” for giving birth to their third child; Health Bureau: can be paid in installments.
  • Government respond to rural couple who gave birth to 9 children: confirmation of situation; family gets subsistence allowance for about 4000 RMB/month.
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Jun. 12, 2020