RANE Insights: Can China's COVID-19 Data Be Trusted?


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May 05 2020 48 mins   100

What Data from China can be trusted and what does it really tell us?

In 2007, then-Secretary General of Liaoning Province, Li Keqiang (kuh-chung), told the United States Ambassador that China's gross domestic product (GDP) numbers were "man-made" and that they were for "reference only." Now, as China's second-in-command after General Secretary Xi Jinping, and as Xi's handpicked coordinator of China's COVID-19 response, Li is in charge of informing the world of China's coronavirus infection tally. The tally, much like China's GDP numbers, have raised questions about whether they can be trusted.

Official Chinese government numbers have been suspect for years, with China-focused economists preferring to refer to other measures, such as pollution levels, instead of relying on government GDP numbers. With the global outbreak of COVID-19 and its response reliant upon government numbers, their untrustworthiness has been cast into stark relief.

In this RANE podcast, RANE Network experts dive into how businesses can parse the government data to get an accurate view of China, what other methods they should rely on, and how they can best build in the assumption of faulty data into their China-centered businesses.

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