Online community scoffs at results, saying the opposite is closer to reality An official survey which declares about 80 per cent of Chinese people feel happy has been greeted with cynicism by the mainland's online community. 'That's nonsensical,' one angry netizen said in a popular sina.com chat room. 'The opposite would sound more real to me: 80 per cent of Chinese people are not happy.' Within about two hours after the posting of The Report on Chinese Residents' Quality of Life, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the website received 379 replies, with responses ranging from indignation to sadness. None seemed to believe the results of the survey. The survey, conducted in October in seven large and medium-sized cities, seven small towns and eight rural areas, found Chinese citizens reported a high level of satisfaction with their lives. 'Happiness has more to do with being content with the status quo than any other factors,' the report concluded. 'Money doesn't equal happiness.' Many chat room participants expressed confusion over the survey's results. 'How can a person be satisfied with his life when he doesn't even feel secure about some basic elements like salary, job and medicare?' one netizen asked. In an apparent contradiction of its conclusion, the report found economic security issues were the three top factors affecting happiness. For urban mainlanders, inflation, employment and income security mattered the most when it came to happiness, while in rural areas, where millions of farmers dream of better-paid jobs in cities, employment ranked as the top concern. In addition, the report claimed that, on average, Chinese farmers were happier than urban residents. 'That's a huge joke,' one netizen commented. Another asked what the definition of happiness would be for 'the silent masses that were being exploited and virtually forgotten in the country's economic boom'. A recent spate of protests, riots and industrial disasters in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Henan provinces has alarmed the central government. Top officials decided at a recent economic summit that maintaining a 'healthy and harmonious' society was among six priorities for next year. 'The leadership must feel very happy about this happiness report,' one netizen said.