12 fascinating facts about the Chinese economy

319 Michael Jordans. Picture: Getty Getty Images

China kicked off 2016 with some stock market chaos.

And analysts aren’t feeling too optimistic going forward.

But just looking at what’s going on in the markets doesn’t give the full flavour of the Chinese economy.

As such, we took a look at the nitty-gritty, and put together some fascinating facts about China’s consumption, production, and demographics.

China has a knockoff Goldman Sachs in Shenzhen.

China is also known for its fake luxury goods.
There’s a Goldman Sachs (Shenzhen) Financial Leasing Co. operating in Shenzhen. But a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the US-based Goldman Sachs denied any ties to it.

A woman who answered the company’s listed phone number told AFP: “We just picked the name out, and it’s not intentionally the same.”

There are more Christians living in China than in Italy and the Vatican City combined, even though 80% of Italians are Christian and only 5.1% of Chinese are.

There are 1.367 billion people living in China. 5.1% of them — or 69.74 million — identify as Christian.

There are 61.86 million people living in Italy and an estimated 842 in the Vatican City.

If you took all the disposable chopsticks used over 3 years in China and distributed them around the world, every single person could get about 32 pairs.

China goes through 80 billion disposable chopsticks per year, which results in 20 million young trees being chopped down annually, according to 2013 data.

There are roughly 7.39 billion people on earth right now.

China’s GDP is 19,758 times greater than the island of Dominica, but the two countries have roughly the same GDP per capita.

China’s GDP is 10.35 trillion, while Dominica’s GDP is 524.05 million, according to World Bank estimates for 2014. (Dominica is so economically small that the latest ‘Star Wars’ movie eclipsed its annual GDP.)

However, China’s GDP per capita is $7,590, while Dominica’s is $7,244.5.

There are roughly 2 times as many Chinese kids using tobacco daily as there are people living in Ireland.

China is one of the biggest consumers of tobacco in the world. 8,937,000 children (and more than 275,900,000 adults) used tobacco daily, according to the Tobacco Atlas.

In fact, Chinese men smoke one-third of the world’s cigarettes, and one-third of all young men are expected to die from the habit.

The population of Ireland is 4,612,719, according to 2014 World Bank estimates.

China’s instant noodle consumption could feed the entire European continent dinner for 52 days.

China consumers scarfed down 44.4 billion instant noodle packets in 2014.

There are an estimated 853 million people living on the European continent (including the populations of Russia and Turkey.)

Assuming that one packet of instant noodles can satisfy a full meal, these noodles could then feed all of these people dinner for 52 days.

China’s Shanghai Tower is roughly the same height as 319 Michael Jordans stacked on top of each other.

The Shanghai Tower is the 2nd tallest building in the world at 2,073 ft. (Some analysts argue that giant skyscrapers like this foretell economic doom.)

Former star basketball player Michael Jordan is 6’6″.

China’s annual consumption of ice cream would fill 2,344 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

China surpassed the US as the world’s number one ice cream consumer in 2014, consuming 5.86 billion liters of the frozen desert.

An Olympic-sized swimming is about 2.5 million liters.

A developer in China built a complete 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days last year.

The building has 800 apartments and enough office space for 4,000 people.

It was originally supposed to be taller (220 stories), but the plans were shaved down due to the building’s proximity to an airport.

1 out of every 2 pigs are located in China.

Pork is a huge food staple the Chinese diet: an average person eats 86 lbs (39 kg) of pork per year.

In fact, the Chinese eat so much pork that a spike in pork prices in 2011 was deemed the major contributor to the sharp inflationary pressures.

China only has 1 time zone — even though it’s about the same size as the US.

As a result, some parts of China experience unusual lighting. In northwestern China’s Urumqi, Xinjiang, for example, people experience sunsets at midnight in the summer, and sunrises at 10 AM in the winter.

China’s total area is about 3.705 million mi2, while the US’ total area is about 3.806 million mi2.

FIFA recognizes an ancient Chinese ball game called Cuju as the “original” soccer — but contemporary China has seen lackluster results in the sport.

An ancient Chinese game called Cuju dates back to the fourth century BC and was originally used to keep military troops in shape. The word “Cuju” translates to “kick the ball with the foot.”

FIFA’s Sepp Blatter supports the claim that Cuju is the first version soccer.

Nowadays, China’s men’s team ranks at a measly 82nd in the world, and has only competed in the FIFA World Cup once, back in 2002.