Why We Created the China Beige Book
In 2010, we founded China Beige Book International with the core mission of providing investors credible and independent China economic data.
“If China’s economy was an informational black hole for investors, what was the solution? Not more analysis of dubious numbers, but rather better, more accurate, data. ”
The Need For Reliable China Data Was—And Is—Overwhelming.
For nearly two decades we observed corporate CEOs and hedge fund managers—including the most prominent and sophisticated among them—struggling to understand the Chinese economy. And, because they had almost no visibility into what was actually happening on the ground, their strategies were necessarily tentative and defensive.
Few invested with confidence.
Official Data Are Notoriously Unreliable, Leaving Investors Flying Blind.
These business leaders, like most today, relied heavily on China’s official data, despite widespread concerns about their timeliness, transparency, and even outright manipulation. That came at a steep cost. Smoothed out growth numbers could hardly foretell a credit crunch or bust cycle, and other figures—such as credit or jobs—proved even less credible.
Ultimately, investors learned they could trust Beijing’s views…until they couldn’t.
The China Advisory Industry Wasn’t Creating Value.
Few experts admit to believing Chinese data, but that never stopped many of them from using it as the foundation of their work. In fact, with analysts who simply adopted official forecasts routinely celebrated, there was growing resignation that official numbers were “as good as it gets.” But relying on Beijing’s self-grading meant rarely getting bad news in a timely manner.
As China’s economic slowdown accelerated—a shift that for years was downplayed by official statistics and China gurus alike—clients increasingly suffered.
Global Commerce and Markets Were Demanding Reliable Data On China’s Economy—So We Stepped In To Fill The Void. We created China Beige Book to fill this vacuum, based on the conviction that if we wanted the real story, we would have to collect it ourselves.
Today we operate the world’s largest private data network focused on the Chinese economy, with a forecasting record unparalleled in the China watching industry.