Two sorts of numbers


China has moved up the global value chain dramatically, with a world-class export sector bigger than that of any other G-20 economy. It boasts a large domestic high-tech market and technology firms that are fast becoming global leaders. The country has been granted the largest number of patents globally since 2015. Over half its population — some 700 million people — use smartphones. As of September 2017, China had the second-largest number of unicorns after the U.S. — some 98 companies.

True, while China’s per capita income reached $8,830 in 2017, up eight-fold from 2001, it’s still well below the World Bank’s $12,236 threshold for high-income countries. This measure is misleading, however. Already an upper-middle-income nation, China has a high-income country living inside of it. Over 200 million Chinese live in high-income areas, including the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, and the powerhouse coastal provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Jiangsu alone has a population of 80 million people and per capita GDP of almost $17,000 — higher than Argentina, Chile and Hungary. Shenzhen’s 12 million residents boast a per capita GDP of more than $27,000 in nominal terms.

China has also become systemically important financially in a way few other countries are. It houses the world’s largest banking system, second-largest equity markets and third-largest bond market, and is promoting a larger international role for the renminbi. In recent years, China has become the world’s largest net exporter of capital; its policy banks have extended more lending to developing economies than all of the multilateral development banks combined.

A couple of years ago we were told that a quarter of the country was deplorable. With the latest outburst on live TV, we’re up to fully half the country being that way. Mark Steyn has some sort-of funny things to say about that, but we confess to being appalled at such bad behavior.

Bonus: Caution, bank robbery ahead,, as Lifson and Attkisson well point out.

One Response to “Two sorts of numbers”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    re Bloomberg


    There you have it.

    Game set and match to China.

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