|A screenshot of China Southeast TV showing the National Bureau of Statistics' (NBS) figures that say the average annual earnings of the country's highest income group is 56,398 yuan in 2013. Much of the public believe this figure to be false, and was published by the NBS to hide the possibility that the wealth gap in China is increasing.|
Public doubt grows regarding the findings of the recent national income report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which said that the highest income group in the country's cities and towns earn an average of about 56,000 yuan per year, or 9,256 US dollars.
Many residents are saying this information is false, arguing that the so-called high income group has to spend 50 years accumulating wealth to afford a house in Beijing. They criticized the Bureau for reporting a figure lower than what is widely believed to be a figure for China's top earners in order to avoid reporting that the income gap in the country is increasing.
The Bureau responded to the growing doubt, saying that the "top income group" refers to the richest 20 percent of all residents, which accounts for approximately 150 million residents, much more than what may be believed in the public. Likewise, the NBS stated that taxes and insurance costs have been deducted from these earning figures.
Still, a report from online news outlet, qq.com, said that the NBS's justification for the figures being so low is not convincing.
The income of the 1,000 richest people on the Chinese mainland rose by 100 million yuan from 2012 to 2013 according to the qq.com report. Based on this, the average per capital growth of the high income group, which is 150 million people large, should be about 6,800 yuan. But the NBS reports that this growth is less than 5,000 yuan.
Among 50,000 netizens involved in a survey by qq.com about the issue, more than 90 percent believe that the NBS's figures about China's top earners are false.