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Local Exaggeration Rampant in China

06-17 12:05 Caijing
A check of industrial profits from 71 firms in Henglan, Guangzhou city, found the data was falsely inflated by 6.29 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) in 2012, almost three times of the real figure of 2.22 billion

The ballooned industrial data which was artificially inflated to four times its true level in a small country in south China's Guangdong Province may provide a look into the local exaggeration within the broader economic data pool.

A check of industrial profits from 71 firms in Henglan, Guangzhou city, found the data was falsely inflated by 6.29 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) in 2012, almost three times of the real figure of 2.22 billion ($360 million), the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website.

38 of 73 surveyed companies, whose data was reflected in last year's statistics, had an economic scale below the threshold for statistics, and another 19 had already suspended production, moved, or legally closed, the NBS said.

In the publicly criticism, the NBS added local employees in the case had faked data themselves instead of companies' self-reports.

The case was revealed following a tip-off from the public, according to the statement, which has been encouraged since the NBS launched a platform to disclose fake statistical reports in March 2012, as part of the country's effort to crack down on fake data.

The NBS has started to use an online data system for companies submitting their reports directly to the NBS, reducing chances of local governments' intervention during the course.

Submit truly independent and real data which is needed in the NBS survey is companies' legal right and legal duty, the NBS director Ma Jiantang said earlier.

Companies and officials involved in fake reporting could face harsh penalty, and their credit in a nationwide investigation system would be tarnished, the report said, citing the NBS.

In addition to local officials' exaggeration, or "adding water", as it is called in China, suspicious about the reliability of China's data also points to fake trades and flawed calculation systems.

China's trade data in the first four months could have been inflated by at least 75 billion U.S. dollars, reports the 21st Century Business Herald, citing an official within the country's foreign trade system.

 

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