April 09, 2007

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China statistics, Chinachem and searching for smut

One of this site's ongoing interests is the lack of reliable statistical data, economic or otherwise, on China. Tim Johnson of McClatchy* points to a FEER article asking have all China scholars been bought? The article in FEER posits that China academics are largely complicit with the CCP in ignoring controversial topics, which Tim Johnson takes issue with. The reality is if you study China you have to get along with the government to get that data, although that data may not be worth much. China's National Bureau of Statistics admits to the problem of dodgy data, largely because those collecting the data are also evaluated on the results. Are we just waiting for those canny researchers who can find alternative ways to measure China? Can China's political system, as it stands, ever really allow for such measurement in a society where control of information remains a principle raison d'etre of the CCP?

Two other articles worth checking out: one on the Chinachem code, asking where did the Wangs' wealth come from, especially post-Teddy's kidnapping? Could it actually be that Nina Wang was a good businesswoman, alebit one with strange taste in hair styles and clothing? Also Justin Mitchell looks at Baidu's launch of a Japanese version of its search engine, and finds China is discovering what the rest of the world has long known: the internet is for p0rn.

* As an aside, why has there been an explosion in the number of China journalists that are now keeping blogs in the past 6 - 12 months? Along with Tim Johnson there's the Telegraph's Richard Spencer, Time magazine's stable, Mary-Anne Toy's from the SMH (although 2 entries a blog does not make) plus likely more that I've missed. They vary in quality but generally add useful voices to the English-speaking China blogosphere. Are they playing catch-up with Roland or are they meant to be "slice of life" pieces that wouldn't make the grade in their papers/magazines? Is everyone now so busy blogging no-one has time to actually read other blogs to find ideas or stories they may not have come across otherwise?

posted by Simon on 04.09.07 at 01:14 PM in the China category.


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posted by: dfhsgfh on 04.10.07 at 03:48 PM [permalink]


Ralph Jennings of Reuters, who used to be in Beijing but is now in Taipei, has a blog as well, called Laowiseass.


posted by: Michael Turton on 04.10.07 at 10:04 PM [permalink]

Thanks Michael, I forgot about that one.

posted by: Simon on 04.11.07 at 11:57 AM [permalink]

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