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Palgrave Macmillan

Myth-Busting China's Numbers

Understanding and Using China's Statistics

ISBN 9781137353191
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Pocket Consultants

China is the world's biggest consumer story, but foreign businesses are still getting it wrong due to lack of knowledge and understanding.

Myth-Busting China's Numbers provides a unique and insightful critique of China's economic data, analysing what businesses need to be aware of when interpreting this data and why.

From GDP down to micro-markets, demographics and company financials, this book looks at the flaws, inaccuracies and manipulations of data from major statistical categories, providing guidance on how to spot and rectify these issues, and allowing businesses to better understand their market and reduce risk. Featuring case studies of businesses that have failed and succeeded based upon on their understanding of China's data, this book is invaluable to anyone with business or investment plans in China.

Palgrave Pocket Consultants are concise, authoritative guides that provide actionable solutions to specific, high-level business problems that would otherwise drive you or your company to employ a consultant. Written for aspiring middle-to-senior managers working across business at any scale, they offer solutions to the most cutting-edge issues across modern business. Be your own expert and have the advice you need at your fingertips.

Matthew Crabbe studied Chinese language, society and history at the University of Leeds and has since turned an academic interest in China into a career. As co-founder of research company Access Asia, Matthew has worked exhaustively on trying to make sense of the myriad contradictions in statistics on the consumer markets in China. He has conducted detailed analysis on China's retail sales for many years, working to highlight how China's official retail figures do not reflect the real size of the country's domestic consumer economy. He is the co-author of two books and has written hundreds of reports on China's consumer markets over two decades.

1. The Big Numbers
2. Population and Employment
3. Retail Sales
4. Debt
5. Property
6. Accounting Stats
7. Manufacturing
8. Tax
9. Social Stats
10. Monetary Policy


'A practical, useful book that should be required reading for all international executives, analysts and strategists whose business in some way relies on understanding what is going on in the world's most populous country' - Financial Times
"In the face of complexity, Crabbe keeps it simple. 'Just when you think you understand what is going on in China,' he writes, 'you learn that everything has changed and you have to start learning all over again.' Crabbe's deeply informed book is an excellent place to begin."- TimeOut Shanghai, China's Best Books 2014
"If you take China's official statistics at face value, you risk making very costly mistakes investing in or doing business in the world's second largest economy. This excellent book exposes the pitfalls that lie in wait for the unwary or naive."- James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor, Financial Times
"A no-nonsense, concise look at the figures and the facts behind them that make up this modern phenomenon and wonder known in the rest of the world as the Chinese economy. Crabbe has done his homework for two decades in China, and it shows in his ability to elegantly deconstruct data from banking, pensions, tax and the day to day economy to try to see through the spin and the vested interest to what is really happening underneath. The great take away of this useful and highly readable book: trust nothing you read in the papers, particularly if they are Chinese language ones linked with the government, and arm yourself with high levels of scepticism. And like the great philosopher Wittgenstein said, don't just think or pretend to know, but really watch and see what is happening. This book is an excellent first step in that journey of refined, crucial scepticism."- Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney, and Associate Fellow, Chatham House
"All you need to know to thread your way through the jungle of Chinese data's unofficial sectors. A full and authoritative reference point for anybody seeking to understand how the country works."-Jonathan Fenby, author of Will China Dominate the 21st Century? and Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today
"After spending more than two decades trawling through reams of dubious Chinese statistics, Matthew Crabbe is eminently well placed to point out their flaws. He explains why much official data is essentially meaningless, but never falls into the all-too-common trap of dismissing it out of hand. This valuable introduction to China's data problems is packed with insight and written in easy, lucid prose."-Tom Miller, author of China's Urban Billion and Editor-at-large, China Economic Quarterly
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