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People's Daily Online>>China Business

New system marks start of data reform in China


12:13, February 19, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's statistics authorities on Saturday officially launched a unified data collection system through which companies can send their data directly to the government's statistics center or authorized provincial branches.

Government officials and industrial analysts say it marks the start of a significant reform of economic data gathering in one of the world's fastest growing economies.

The new platform may help rectify public confidence in official data. Previously, company data would go through as many as four government levels before reaching the National Data Center or authorized provincial data centers.

The complicated system has been blamed for data mismatch and confusion, such as conflicting national GDP figures last year.

The country's total GDP for 2011 calculated from local figures exceeded the final figure released by the NBS by about 10 percent. Technical problems, such as double counting and using different raw data, were reportedly the cause of the mix up.

"We felt that the data was falsified somewhere, but we could not find out where exactly the data became erroneous because we could not obtain the original data provided by the companies," said Ma Jiantang, chief of the National Bureau of Statistics.

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