Baidu To Measure China's Economy

The Chinese government's own statistics are not trusted

Baidu is designing a new gauge to measure China’s economy, using its own vast amounts of data. Using the information collected from more than 600 million of its users, Baidu’s indications are expected to show the country’s economy in a better light than the government’s official analysis. Because the search engine handles around 80% of the country’s online searches, Baidu has access to potentially huge amounts of data; something it hopes can help it build an accurate image of China’s economy, including employment rate. As something of a sticking point, employment data released by the government has been questioned by economists. Data scientist Wu Haishan is quoted as saying that “the economy is slowing down but the unemployment rate published by the government remains steady about 4%”, which he says people are “suspicious of”. Baidu is looking to resort to sources like media reports of job losses to counteract this issue. 

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