Exactly How Big is Big?

VC Michael Moe writes about China and offers a heaping helping of China stats. Here are a few to ponder…

  • China has an official 1.3 billion people—that’s 1/5th of all people on the planet. Unofficially, it has 1.5 billion people—the 200 million that aren’t counted is larger than the United Kingdom, France, and Germany combined!
  • China has 100 cities with 1 million or more people—and to put this in perspective, the United States has nine. Shanghai, the financial hub that buzzes with the optimism of Silicon Valley, has 17 million people. Beijing has 14 million.
    (FYI: Tom Friedman, in The World is Flat says there are 160 cities with 1 million or more people.)

  • China is the #1 market for mobile phones (350 million users), #1 steel maker, #1 coal producer, #1 in foreign direct investment ($500 billion), #1 auto market by 2010, and #2 market for PCs.
  • 320 million people under the age of 14—more than the entire United States population. There are 300 million Chinese moving from rural communities to cities.

Of course, I have no way to verify any of these stats. And, given that China is hardly a transparent country, there are few people around who can verify these stats. But that’s not really the issue. China is big, real big.

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