Inkstone Index

Inkstone Index

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China.

China’s super-sized mobile app market
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 3.67 million: how many mobile apps are available in the Chinese market. Chinese app stores featured 3.67 million mobile apps as of December 2019, according to the state-run China Internet Network Information Center.  Games accounted for a quarter of the products, while apps that served as everyday tools made up 14% and e-commerce apps comprised 10% of the market, the data shows. This massive app economy is supported by the world’s biggest internet population – 904 million people in China regularly access the internet, mostly using their phones. But China’s internet is a walle
The rise of Chinese tourists
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 13%: the share of the Chinese population that has a passport. About one in eight Chinese people held a passport in 2019, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported. In other words, about 182 million people in the world’s second-largest economy can travel abroad, making tourists from China the world’s biggest spender in global tourism. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has halted travel, the sheer (and growing) number of Chinese travelers translates to an economic opportunity for destinations and, in some cases, political leverage for the Chinese government. Before the pandemic,
Basketball is gigantic in China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 625 million: The number of basketball fans in China. It is no secret that China loves basketball. But just how big of a deal the sport is in the country? 625 million people call themselves fans of the sport, according to a 2018 industry report by China’s tech giant Tencent. Of that number, 143 million people in China, or slightly less than the entire population of Russia, consider themselves to be “hardcore” fans, meaning they regularly watch and play basketball.  The rest of the fans, about 482 million, are considered general fans, who enjoy basketball but play it
Made in China, banned in India
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 177: the number of apps with links to China that are banned in India. India has banned 177 apps with links to China, including hit mobile games and payment services, as part of its retaliation against Beijing following a border stand-off. The latest ban of 118 apps, announced on September 2, covers some of the most used Chinese apps in the country, including Tencent’s smash-hit game PUBG and Alibaba affiliate Ant Group’s payment app Alipay. Alibaba’s online marketplace Taobao, NetEase’s popular game MARVEL Super War, video platform Youku and dating app Tantan are also among t
China stores enough food to last a year
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. One year: How long China’s emergency food supply is expected to last. The Chinese government has stored a year’s worth of grains, the Chinese National Food and Strategic Reserve Administration said. The country stocks items such as wheat, rice, corn, cooking oil and pork. These reserves are released to the market in case of emergency and are used to manage food prices. The ruling Communist Party has been running a national grain reserve since 1955, which was initially intended to be used in times of war and natural disasters. Notably, China released 10,000 tons of
China’s tech hub is also the world’s e-cigarette center
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 90%: the percentage of e-cigarettes made in China.  About nine in 10 e-cigarettes sold globally are produced in China, mostly in the southern tech hub of Shenzhen.  The surging popularity of e-cigarettes, especially in America, has in recent years set off an investment frenzy around vaping products in Shenzhen. In 2018, the e-cigarette industry in China employed more than 2 million people, generating annual sales of nearly $5 billion, state broadcaster CCTV reported. But the health risks associated with vaping remain unclear, and the widespread use of e-cigarettes among young
How Japan helps businesses wean themselves off China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. $2.2 billion: how much the Japanese government is spending on incentives for companies to move production lines out of China.  The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for Japan to become less reliant on producing in China. In April, the government set aside more than $2 billion from its $1.1 trillion economic relief package to attract companies back to Japan or to set up in countries outside China. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said Japan needed to reform its supply chain to produce high-value products and essential goods at home, while diversifying it
China is racing to build the world’s fastest train
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 373mph: the speed of the maglev train China is trying to build. The Chinese government is building high-speed maglev trains that can run at a speed of 373mph (600km/h) – approaching the record speed set by a train in Japan. Unlike conventional trains, which run on steel wheels on metal tracks, maglev trains hover above the track and are propelled forward by powerful electromagnets. The current world speed record was set by a Japan Railway maglev train that hit 375mph (603km/h) on a test track in 2015. The train covered 1.1 miles (1.8km) in 10.8 seconds. China has spent billi
Living without banks: The unbanked people of China
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 11.4%: the share of adults in China who did not have an active bank account by 2018.  Having access to the banking system is a key indicator of financial inclusion. The World Bank views access to bank accounts as crucial for escaping poverty because it helps people prepare for emergencies, start businesses, and pay for education or health care services. In China, an account is also needed to use the mobile payment services that are rapidly replacing cash in many parts of the country.  Although the expansion of mobile phone use has made it easier for people in rural China to u
The pandemic has dimmed Europe’s view of China, surveys suggest
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 48%: The percentage of Europeans who viewed China less favorably during the coronavirus pandemic.  Nearly half of all respondents to surveys in nine major EU countries said their views of China worsened during the Covid-19 crisis, the European Council on Foreign Relations said. The darkening view of China was the starkest in France and Denmark, where 62% of respondents said they saw the country more negatively since the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe in early 2020, according to data compiled by the think tank. A minority of respondents reported having a more fav