2015 marked the first time in a century that the U.S. was no longer the world’s preeminent economic power. The Chinese economy overtook the U.S. economy measured in purchasing power, and the global order began shifting to the Far East. Additionally, Australia became the latest in a long list of U.S. allies to join China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, an institution that would rival the U.S.-led IMF and World Bank.
With so much of the world’s wealth being generated in China, you can’t afford not to know more about the vast country poised to shape so much of the 21st century.
11 mind-boggling business facts about China
1. Over the past decade, China’s economy has increased by 316%, 7 times faster than that of the U.S.
2. Despite this, a significant portion of the population still lives in relative poverty. According to IMF, the GDP per capita (PPP) of China in 2014 was $12,880, which is less than that of Iran’s.
3. When you buy Chinese stocks and invest in the Chinese market, you are probably financing the Chinese government indirectly, as eight out of the top ten stocks are owned and controlled by the state government.
4. According to McKinsey& Company’s ‘Preparing for China’s urban billion’, China will add 350 million more people to cities by 2030 – 30 million more than the entire U.S. population.
5. You can thank China for the invention of many mainstream products; gunpowder, paper, compass and even toilet paper, which was invented in 1300 solely for the use of emperors.
6. China is the world’s largest producer of cement. In as little as 2 years, China produced more cement than the U.S. did in the entire 20th century.
7. China produces 67% of the world’s bicycles, largely because the bicycle is the primary method of transport for millions of Chinese.
8. If the Chinese people were to use as much oil per person as the Americans do, the world would require 7 more Saudi Arabia’s to meet that demand.
9. The total length of China’s railway system is 93,000 kilometers. This could loop around the entire Earth twice, the circumference of which is 40,075 kilometers.
10. At an estimated $200 billion, exports from China to the U.S. is four times greater than exports from the U.S. to China.
11. Sock City, which is located in China’s Datang district, produces 8 billion pairs of socks each year. That is roughly 2 pairs of socks per person on the planet.