Chinese statisticians are studying ways to include industries such as ride-sharing, crowd sourcing and couch surfing in China’s official growth figures as a way to more accurately reflect the “new economy,” the Financial Times reports. While some economists are skeptical of efforts to pump up China’s gross domestic product numbers, few can deny that the mobile phones in the hands of 700m Chinese have begun to transform the economy, along with apps such as Uber, Didi Dache and other sharing economy services. Xu Xianchun, deputy head of China’s statistics bureau, told a conference at the weekend that services offered for free should be counted as part of gross domestic product — from crowd sourced question-and-answer websites such as Baidu Knows to people offering a couch on which to sleep.
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