SCIO briefing on 3rd national economic census

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Mr. Ma Jiantang, deputy head of the Leading Group of the Third National Economic Census Office of the State Council, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics of China

Guo Weimin, director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office

December 16, 2014

Guo Weimin:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning! Welcome to today's press conference. As you know, the Third National Economic Census has been completed, after more than two years. It is understood that the census has drawn much public attention, and this is why we have invited Mr. Ma Jiantang here today to brief to you on the basic information about the census before taking your questions.

Mr. Ma Jiantang is the deputy director of the Leading Group of the Third National Economic Census Office of the State Council, and Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS). Also at the press conference is Mr. Xu Yifan, director of the Leading Group of the Third National Economic Census Office of the State Council.

Now let's give the floor to Mr. Ma.

Ma Jiantang:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, good morning! The Third National Economic Census has concluded, and thank you for being here at this press conference. First of all, please allow me to give a brief introduction to the work and primary achievements of the Third National Economic Census.

Purpose and principal workflow of the economic census

The Third National Economic Census was intended to be a comprehensive nationwide survey of the development and distribution of China's secondary and tertiary industry. The Census also sought to establish a better understanding of the development of the service sector, strategic emerging industries and small and micro businesses. It sought to figure out the basic conditions of various economic entities in the country, fully update the index and basic information data of the economic entities that cover all industries in China's national economy, and collect the electronic geographic information of those entities.

In so doing, we aim, to help strengthen and improve macro-adjustment, accelerate the strategic restructuring of the economy, and draft the country's middle and long-term development plans by providing accurate statistics.

The objects of the Census include all legal entities, business production entities, and private businesses in the second and tertiary industries in China. The standard time point of the Census was set to Dec. 31, 2013. The Census is based on the yearly data for 2013.

An economic census is a major survey of a country's national condition and strength, which calls for huge social mobilization.

Starting from November 2012, some 3 million people selected to be on the census staff completed various jobs, including establishing a special agency for the census, mobilizing the public, drafting a census plan, piloting the plan on a small scale, training the census staff, subdividing areas to be surveyed, checking up on survey objects, gathering data on the spot, submitting data for overall revision, selectively examining sample data, and an overall assessment of the census.

We are currently working on publishing major census data and developing applications based on the data. Our work has been made possible under the unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. We also thank local authorities and various government departments for their support.

Main features of the Third National Economic Census

First, attention from top authorities and combination from careful planning formed a synergy. The State Council published the notice that the Third National Economic Census was to be launched. For this purpose, the State Council established a Leading Group of the Third National Economic Census Office, and conducted national teleconferences.

Premier Li Keqiang gave special instructions, and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli supervised the work of on-the-spot data gathering. Following the State Council's unified deployment, local governments stepped up supervision in establishing local census agencies and voluntarily promoting the census work. The Census achievements can also be attributed to the efforts of various departments, whose support and coordination have been essential.

Second, there was systematic design and strict implementation for a rational and standardized census. Following the State Council's requirement that the Third National Economic Census should be "rational, fact-based and practical," the Census Office carefully reviewed the previous census, gathered extensive opinions from all parties, conducted feasibility studies and piloted the plan, before the "Plan for the Third National Economic Census," 13 technical specifications and a standard workflow was finally agreed upon.

With the guideline, we conducted training, thorough comparison and on-spot examinations. We put in our best efforts to carry out field registration and sample surveys of small private businesses. Our data collection and submission work was overseen in real time through information technology. Our data revision work was carried out with strict discretion.

Third, we used innovative approaches, in that the data we collected was submitted instantly, which reflected our efforts to use information technology in the Census. This Third National Economic Census featured field registration using PDAs for the first time. Electronic devices also enabled our census workers to register respondents' geographical locations, and photograph their ID cards before uploading such information in real time. It was the first time that up to one million enterprises with an annual revenue of 20 million yuan or more filled in the census sheet online and the result directly went to the National Data Center. It was also the first time that the data was generated electronically, and networked, which ensured the reliability of the census data, besides raising efficiency.

Fourth, we stressed supervision and transparency in order to raise the public credibility of the Census. For this purpose, we launched strict post-Census quality spot-checks. We selected more than 330 people from different places and divided them into 31 groups. These people carried out revisions and return visits over all 12,788 economic entities in 306 census sub-regions in 105 counties (cities and regions) nationwide. We also invited more than 30 journalists from different places, in addition to 31 people we hired online, to be our inspectors, who looked over the post-Census quality spot-checks.

Generally speaking, this Census has fully employed modern information technology, and ensured transparency. In the high-quality data the Census gathered with high efficiency, the basic condition of China's secondary and tertiary industries was figured out.

The Census has truly reflected the development of China's economy and reached the expected target. The post-Census quality spot-check result showed that the net missing data rate was 0.8‰ and the comprehensive data error rate was 3.3‰.

Major achievements of the Third National Economic Census

First, the condition of economic entities. As of the end of 2013, the number of legal entities in the secondary and tertiary industries stood at 10.857 million, up by 3.758 million, or a 52.9 percent increase compared to the end of 2008, when the Second National Economic Census was conducted. The number of industrial production entities stood at 13.035 million, up by 4.171 million, or a 47.1 percent rise. The number of licensed small private businesses stood at 32.791 million, increasing by 4.054 million, or 14.1 percent.

In terms of regional differences, as of the end of 2013, the number of legal entities in the secondary and tertiary industries in eastern China's stood at 6.019 million, accounting for 55.4 percent of the country's total figure; the number in central China stood at 2.141 million, accounting for 19.7 percent; 19.74 million, or 18.2 percent were in the west, and 720,000, or 6.7 percent in the east of the country.

As for licensed small private businesses, 13.114 million or 40 percent of the total were in the eastern area; in the central area there were 7.625 million, or 23.3 percent; in the western area, there were 9.154 million, accounting for 27.9 percent of national total; and for in the northeastern area there were 2.897 million or 8.8 percent.

In terms of different sectors, as of the end of 2013, the top three ones were wholesalers and retailers, 2.811 million in total, accounting for 25.9 percent of all the economic entities included in the census, manufacturing accounted for 2.253 million or 20.7 percent, and public administration, social security and social groups 1.52 million, or 14.1 percent of the national total.

As for the top three sectors of the licensed small private businesses, the number of wholesale and retail businesses was 16.427 million, accounting for 50.1 percent of all licensed small private businesses; the number of transport, warehouse and postal service businesses stood at 8.786 million, accounting for 26.8 percent and for the number of accommodation and catering services businesses stood at 2.408 million or 7.3 percent.

As for legal entities categorized by different ownerships, as of the end of 2013, the number of legal entities in the secondary and tertiary industries nationwide stood at 8.208 million, rising by 3.249 million, representing a 65.5 percent increase. Among them, 113,000, or 1.4 percent were state-owned enterprises; 5.604 million, or 68.3 percent were in the private sector; 97,000 were enterprises with funding from Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan; and 106,000, or 1.3 percent were foreign-funded enterprises in China.

In term of employment, as of the end of 2013, a total of 356.023 million people worked in the secondary and tertiary industries across the country. The number was 82.908 million larger, or 30.4 percent higher than the statistics for 2008. Among those employed, the number of female workers stood at 125.805 million, accounting for 35.3 percent of the number of people employed by all legal entities. The number of people in licensed small private businesses stood at 90.13 million, up by 8.18 million, or 10 percent higher than the number in 2008.

Broken down into different regions, of the total number of people employed in the secondary and tertiary industries, 192.245 million were in the east of the country, or 54 percent of the total number; 74.288 million in the center, or 20.9 percent; 65.672 million in the west, or 18.4 percent; and 23.818 million in the northeast, or 6.7 percent.

As for people who work in licensed small private businesses, there were 39.261 million in the east of the country, accounting for 43.6 percent of the total number; 20.957 million in the center, or 23.3 percent; 23.056 million in the west, or 25.6 percent; and 6.86 million in the northeast, or 7.6 percent.

The three industries that employed the most people were manufacturing, which employed 125.151 million people, accounting for 35.2 percent of the total number, the construction industry, which employed 53.206 million people, or 14.9 percent of the total, and wholesale and retail, which accounted for 33.15 million, or 9.3 percent.

The three industries that employed the most people out of all the licensed small private businesses were wholesale and retail, 41.666 million people, or 46.2 percent of the total employment, transport, warehouse and postal service, with 16.745 million, or 18.6 percent, and accommodation and catering services, with 10.694 million, or 11.9 percent of the total.

In terms of corporate capital growth, as of the end of 2013, the gross corporate capital in the secondary and tertiary industries nationwide was 466.8 trillion yuan. The figure was 259 trillion higher, or represented a 124.6 percent increase compared to 2008.

In the service sector alone, as of the end of 2013, there were 8.113 million legal entities, accounting for 74.7 percent of the total number of legal entities in China. This figure was 5.7 percentage points higher than the ratio at the end of 2008. The service sector in China employed a total of 163.266 million people, and accounted for 45.9 percent – up by 3.5 percentage points – of employment in the country.

The following is the condition of small and micro businesses. As of the end of 2013, a total of 7.85 million legal entities were engaged in the secondary and tertiary industries, accounting for 95.6 percent of all legal entities in China. Some 147.304 million people were employed in the small and micro businesses, accounting for 50.4 percent of employment in China.

As for the condition of strategic emerging industries, as of the end of 2013, some 166,000 legal entities were registered in the secondary and tertiary industries, accounting for two percent of all legal entities. The same category employed 23.623 million people, or 8.1 percent of the country's total employment.

As for the change in the economic structure, the number of legal entities in the secondary industry accounted for 25.3 percent in the country's economy. This figure was down by 5.7 percentage points compared with 2008. At the same time, the tertiary industry accounted for 74.7 percent, up by 5.7 percentage points. The legal entities in the secondary industry employed 54.1 percent of all the people employed by all the legal entities surveyed in the census. The figure was down 3.5 percentage points compared to 2008. The deficit was taken up by the legal entities in the tertiary industry.

The above are principal data we obtained in the Third National Economic Census, during which the huge amount of basic data we gathered will be published later, to make the most of the census data.

To meet this target, we will publish the census data in various ways. First, the National Bureau of Statistics will release more statistics on the Internet, and in periodicals, yearbooks, and other visualized formats.

Second, we will use the data to develop in-depth materials, which are precious social wealth and an important foundation for the government's policymaking and enterprise decision making. We will explore new ways to use the data in an innovative way, and actively invite government agencies, research institutes and higher education institutes to participate in the development of census-data based materials. Through these efforts, we aim to provide solid support, through our verified and detailed data, for the healthy growth of the Chinese economy and the drafting of the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan (2016-20)

I have now delivered the major statistics for this morning. Thank you all! My colleague and I are willing to take your questions.

Guo Weimin:

Now we have time for questions. Please identify your organization when asking your questions.


Compared with the Second National Economic Census, can you explain the economic changes during the past five years found in the statistics of the Third National Economic Census? What are the new features of those new statistics?

Ma Jiantang:

Thank you for your questions. It has been five years since the Second National Economic Census. During the past five years, the Party Central Committee and State Council have been leading the Chinese people to overcome the global financial crisis, adjust and optimize the economic structure and improve the people's lives. China's international standing has also been raised during the past several years. We can see those changes from the statistics of the Third National Economic Census.

From the statistics of the Third National Economic Census, we can see that China's economic aggregate has expanded sharply, the economic structure has been optimized and economic performance has continued to improve. First, I want to explain the expansion of China's economic aggregate. The number of legal entities -- cells of economic activity, increased by 52.9 percent, the number of employees rose by 30.4 percent and company assets grew by 125 percent.

The economic structure has been opitimized. The proportion of the service sector in the national economy has continued to rise. The proportion of legal entities in the service sector rose by 5.7 percent by the end of 2013, compared with 2008. The proportion of employees in the service sector rose by 3.5 percent. The internal structures of industries have also been improved. Progress has been achieved in the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry. By the end of 2013, hi-tech manufacturing enterprises with an annual revenue of 20 million yuan or more from their main business operations accounted for 7.8 percent of all the manufacturing companies above the designated size, up 1.3 percent compared with the statistics of the Second National Economic Census. 27,000 hi-tech manufacturing enterprises invested 203.4 billion yuan in R&D, an increase by 178 percent compared with 2008.

The ownership structure has also improved. During the past five years, the mixed-ownership economy and the private economy have been expanding rapidly. At the same time, the vitality of the state-owned economy and its capacity to leverage and influence the economy have also been enhanced. By the end of 2013, private companies increased by 55.8 percent compared with 2008. The number of four types of mixed-ownership companies also increased. Although the number of state-owned enterprises has decreased, their vitality and capacity to leverage the economy have improved.

The Third National Economic Census also indicates that the quality and efficiency of China's economic development have been improved steadily. In 2013, the average revenue of legal entity companies was 781,000 yuan, up 64.2 percent compared with 2008. Revenue from the main business of hi-tech manufacturing enterprises was 11.6 trillion in 2013, up 108 percent compared with 2008. Total revenue of hi-tech manufacturing enterprises in 2013 is 723.4 billion yuan, up 166 percent.

I can summarize the economic changes in the past five years as follows: the economic aggregate has expanded, the economic structure has been optimized and the returns of economic development have improved.

China Daily:

My question goes to Mr. Ma. As director of the National Bureau of Statistics, you have organized and led two economic censuses and one population census. What has left you with the biggest impression during this economic census?

Ma Jiantang:

Thanks for your question. The Third National Economic Census has three characteristics: the first one is "many". There are more than 70 million entities involved in the third economic census, including legal entities, industrial units and privately-owned businesses. The second characteristic is "new". In order to improve the quality of the census, we have introduced a range of new technologies and measures, such as PDA, which helped us to collect data, spatial location and taking pictures. Our census staff have not used this kind of "new weapon" before, and we were not certain whether or not it would work smoothly at the beginning. The third characteristic is "difficult". Although participating in the economic census is a legal duty for all kinds of businesses, it has still inconvenienced people. My colleagues and I have had great difficulties and stress during this census. Today, now that the data have been finally published, we feel very satisfied.

Besides feeling satisfied, I mostly feel appreciative, thankful and grateful. Firstly, we want to thank our government for its correct leadership, and the strong support from all levels of departments and local governments. The economic census is one of the largest social mobilization events during peacetime, and we could never have completed the census without their support.

Secondly, we want to thank our respondents for their cooperation. Like other censuses, the economic census is a legal duty for all enterprises and natural persons. But it still inconvenienced the respondents. Usually, we have to visit each of them twice. The first time is to find out how many enterprises are located in the area, and then to make an electronic map; the second time is for the investigation. If a company or individual household was drawn both for the pilot project and post quality test, we had to visit it four times in total. Although there might have been some hesitation and troubles, all of our 70 million respondents gave their active cooperation. We could not have done this without their cooperation.

Thirdly, we want to express our gratitude to our friends from the media. The economic census is beneficial for both the country and public, and the media is the bridge between them. During the past two years, our friends from the media have made their best efforts to report, support and supervise the census. I want to thank you sincerely for all your work.

Fourthly, we want to thank the more than three million people who carried out the census, because they are the most diligent. The Third National Economic Census took more than two years, and the household survey took three to four months. When we carried out the household survey in the first quarter this year, many places were still very cold. Our census staff had to visit every company and individual household, even in the wind or snow, and some of them had to visit several companies seven or eight times. Last year, we held an exchange meeting inviting some of our census staff to discuss their work. Some of our staff even cried during the discussion. The third economic census could not have been completed without their efforts and dedication.

We had a female census worker from Sichuan Province, who went on working when she was pregnant. When the census was completed, she gave birth to her son and named him 'Jingpu', which is the abridged Chinese character phrase for 'economic census.' Her name is Li Xia, she is here today.

Guo Weimin:

If you like, you can talk to her after today's briefing.


Will this economic census cause us to make any modification to GDP or the GDP growth rate?

Ma Jiantang:

Thank you for your professional question. The economic census has obtained more detailed and accurate materials than usual, so we need to conduct some corresponding readjustment of GDP in accordance with international practice, i.e., conduct readjustment of 2013 GDP accordingly. The specific readjustment will formally be released in the Notice of the National Bureau of Statistics on Dec. 19. I can only explain this much, which probably won't satisfy your curiosity. But I can give you a basic idea as to the range of the GDP modification after the Third National Economic Census is released. It will be significantly lower than the modification in 2004 after the First National Economic Census was released, and lower than the revision in 2008 after the Second National Economic Census was released. The Statistics Law stipulates that I cannot reveal the specific data in advance. The modified range will stand at slightly more than three percent. Sorry that I cannot say anything further, but otherwise I would be violating the Statistics Law. We will make a formal announcement on Dec. 19.

The lower range of GDP modification after the economic census also shows that our conventional statistical investigation work and GDP accounting work have become more accurate. In particular, statistical investigation of the service industry has improved greatly. The relatively wide range of GDP modification after the first economic census was due to comparatively weak statistical work in the service industry at that time. In recent years, we have greatly strengthened statistical investigation in the service industry, so the GDP modification range will become smaller and smaller after the economic census is released.

The overall quality of this particular economic census is high. The reasons for this lie with the two numbers I just mentioned: the comparatively low rates of accidental exclusion and error. Authenticity and accuracy of the data are the crux of the vitality and value of the economic census, as is the case with any other statistical investigations. Leaders of the State Council have repeatedly stressed that the economic census must be one hundred percent true, which demands painstaking and exacting work. We must fulfill our duties. To ensure the reliability of the census data, we have taken important measures in the following three aspects.

First, scientific planning and implementation in accordance with law. We have earnestly learned from previous experience with population censuses, economic censuses and agricultural censuses, and we made the plan for the Third National Economic Census and 13 technological regulations based on repeated demonstrations and pilot surveys. We adopted scientific methods to guarantee the authenticity of the investigation. For example, in the planning stage, we were able to craft indexes that could mutually verify each other. Before we conducted any on-site investigations, we carefully compared all the entries in directories against information provided by industrial, commercial and tax departments. In the data collection stage, because many individually-owned businesses had no accounts at all, we conducted both a superficial survey of all of these enterprises in addition to carrying out a detailed investigation of the management, cost expenditures and operations of two percent of these enterprises. Similarly, in the review stage, whenever our review revealed reporting errors or omissions, we returned to the corresponding respondent for modification and for the re-issuing of official seals and signatures. We are striving to make our work scientific and regulated.

Second, innovation guarantees the authenticity of the census. We have adopted two important innovative methods to ensure the high quality of this economic census. The first innovation is the [use of a] PDA, which I just showed to you. PDAs can help our data collectors take pictures of business licenses, business tax certificates, and business industry organization codes. Only enterprises that have all three of these necessary certificates can be considered existing enterprises. The PDA can also determine the location of a business. The second innovation is that large enterprises use the Internet to directly send data so as to reduce the number of intermediary links that may result in interference. For example, a data collector can press the "Send" button to directly transmit the data to the National Bureau of Statistics. This method plays an important role in ensuring the original data's authenticity and credibility.

Our third way of ensuring the reliability of census data is social supervision and transparency. We adopted some new methods in this regard, particularly during the quality examination stage afterwards. How can we verify the quality of household registration data? It depends on both the whole regular process of quality control and quality examination afterwards. The Economic Census Office of the State Council made a selective investigation of 13,000 targets in 15 counties (cities and regions) and 306 census areas across the country and also made a return examination to compare the differences between the two results. To guarantee the high quality of the investigation, we adopted two additional methods. The first was that more than 30 media reporters were invited and 31 social inspectors were openly recruited via the Internet to participate in the whole process of the investigation. Each investigation group included a media reporter and a social inspector to supervise the impartiality and openness of the whole process.

The second was that we had to maintain absolute secrecy about the selected targets to keep their information from being exposed in advance. I brought the information of a selected target here today. The National Bureau of Statistics made a selective investigation of three counties in Shanxi Province, and each county included three census areas. Inside this big envelope are three small envelopes. The head of the investigation group was sent to Shanxi Province. He, together with local provincial officials under the supervision of a media reporter and a social inspector, opened the big envelope. The three smaller envelopes couldn't be opened until they were sent to the selected three census areas. All the envelopes contained official seals on them and could only be opened within the prescribed period of time. This information constituted a state secret, so opening the envelopes in advance was a violation of the Secrecy Law. These measures helped ensure the openness, fairness, strictness and regulation of the investigation. Mr. Xue Zhiwei from the Economic Daily was included in the Shanxi provincial group and participated in the investigation. He can do a much better job of explaining the whole process of the census than I can.

In general, this economic census made full use of high technology, and it has been open, transparent, successful and of high quality.

Thank you.


I have two questions. First: What data from the economic census should ordinary people pay attention to this time? Which data will produce what kinds of impacts on our lives? You just mentioned that you are carrying out an in-depth investigation of the data. How can we benefit from the big data? Second: compared to the Second National Economic Census, the third one increased its investigation of small and micro businesses. Why did you set it up this way?

Ma Jiantang:

Thanks for your questions. The economic census is good for the country as well as for all Chinese people. Firstly, it is good for the country. Ascertaining the actual situation of our country can allow us to regulate the macro economy better. Secondly, it is good for people. Sometimes it benefits people directly and sometimes the benefits are indirect. People are both consumers and investors. For example, if we want to invest and establish a factory, how do we find out how many enterprises have been established in the industry? Where are they settled? How many enterprises are located upstream and how many enterprises are located in downstream [in the supply chain]? The industry information obtained through the Third National Economic Census helps us produce goods and make decisions. As for consumers, the economic census has investigated all the information on major consumer products such as cameras, computers, televisions and refrigerators. Where are the companies? Also, companies in tertiary industry like barbershops, dry cleaners and bank branches, where are they located? In the future, we will make the information into a visualized electronic map. Developing and using this information well has direct benefits for the country, companies and people.

Statistics institutions should consider the efficiency and cost of regular surveys, especially quarterly surveys and monthly surveys. Efficiency means releasing survey data as soon as possible, so as to inform society about economic trends. Although regular surveys don't include too many enterprises, they include large scale enterprises that can represent and control economic operation trends. The limitation of this is that it doesn't include too much about the enormous number of small and micro enterprises. So one of the important tasks of the economic census every five years is to further understand information from the large number of small and micro enterprises. Hence, based on the above consideration, an important task of the census this year is to ascertain the actual circumstances of small and micro enterprises. In secondary and tertiary industries, incorporated small and micro enterprises accounted for 95 percent of the total number of businesses, their staff accounted for nearly 50 percent and their assets close to 30 percent. This is detailed information about small and micro enterprises. Then the census looks specifically at how many small and micro enterprises there are in each region, each county, each district, each street and each industry. Ascertain the actual situation can help local Party committees and governments make policies that support the development of small and micro enterprises and that improve employment, promote development and improve people's livelihoods.

Guo Weimin:

Media can do some work – and some further processing work – on using economic census data so that we can capture and publish it better in the future to make it play an important role in economic construction and social development.

Ma Jiantang:

The economic census obtained mass data. To make good use of it, we need the collaboration of statistics institutions, media and research institutions. Don't let this treasure stay in drawer or just sit on your computer unused.

China National Radio:

In the past five years, China's high-tech manufacturing industry has developed very well. During the last year, the industry achieved revenues of 11.6 trillion yuan among its major businesses, 1.08 times more than 2008. The gross profit of the industry is 723.4 billion yuan, 1.66 times more than it was in 2008. Those figures are very inspiring at a time when the national economy is facing downward pressure. Why are these numbers so good? And how can the high-tech manufacturing industry sustain the national economy? Will this trend keep going in the future?

Ma Jiantang:

In addition to the three communiques we have released, we have also provided a special report for you, "Prosperous Development of China's High-tech Manufacturing Industry in Five Years." This is an example of how to better make use of the national economic census numbers. We discussed this, and yesterday we decided to make this attempt to add this material temporarily in order to make our data more relevant and to help it better reflect the profound changes in the national economy. From the document and from the census data we provided, you can see clearly that the high-tech industry has been developing more rapidly over these last five years. Why so fast? I think there are many reasons, including the government's increase of muscle to support it. For example, a few days ago, the State Council decided to extend some science and technology polices implemented in Zhongguancun Hi-Tech Park to the whole nation. Another example is China's further strengthening of policies' power to reduce or eliminate taxes for small high-tech enterprises. China also replicated and expanded some innovation-fostering policies from the Shanghai Free Trade Zone to relevant ranges and areas. All of these boosted China's high-tech manufacturing industry and helped it develop better and more quickly.

The more important reason, I think, is the stronger function of the market as China's socialist economy system keeps building and improving. We can see in recent years that new products, the majority of which are Internet products, new industries, new business structures, and new patterns emerge constantly. Why are they developing so fast? Government support is one reason, and the other reason is the stronger and stronger role of the market. The scope of market competition is becoming bigger and bigger, and entrepreneurs' drive to innovate becomes bigger and bigger. All in all, it is because the power of the market keeps increasing. The government's support and the power of the market together push forward and create the development and growth of China's high-tech industry. This is the future and hope for China's economic transformation and upgrade.

Recently, the central government leaders stressed the drive to innovate. We must go from a factor-driven economic development pattern to an innovation-driven economic development pattern. The leaders are paying a lot of attention to people starting new businesses and the innovation of various groups and individuals. They hope to inspire and motivate Chinese people's potential enthusiasm for and creative pursuit of innovation. If we continue to do so, China will quicken the steps of its economic transformation and upgrade, and economic development will be better than good. This is where the hope lies for next phase of developing the Chinese economy. The hope of development is likely there. Through innovation, we can transform and rebuild traditional industries, and we can also develop new industries. The keen desire to innovate is the source of an enterprise's success, it is the root of a country's development, and it is the key to a people's prosperity. Our hope is here. Let's embrace the trend.

China News Service:

We have learned that the data on enterprise entities recently issued by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce is not consistent with those of the economic census. Would you please tell us the reason behind this?

Ma Jiantang:

I'll refer this question to my colleague Mr. Xu Yifan, director of the Economic Census Office of the State Council.

Xu Yifan:

This is a very good question. The reporter is scrupulous to note the differences between the enterprises data issued by the SAIC and by us. Just as Commissioner Ma told us, before we paid visits to enterprises for the census, we checked the data collected from a number of offices, administrations and ministries, such as the SAIC, the State Administration of Taxation, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the State Commission Office for Public Sectors Reform, the General Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine, which are in partnership with the Economic Census Office. Then how to explain the differences between the SAIC's data and our data?

It is generally known that the criteria [for defining census subjects] and timing, which are two crucial factors in statistics, are the major reasons for the difference. First, what is the definition of a business in this economic census? – Existing entities. What's the SAIC's definition? — Licensed entities. Ahead of the latest reform of the registration system for the industrial and commercial sectors, any enterprise could be considered an independent business entity as long as it had a license. This explanation might be too general. But the following three conditions I present will offer a panoramic view of the issue. First, the businesses we recognize are those that remained in operation during the economic census. But in several instances, businesses which had stopped operating during the census still held licenses. Second, businesses in our survey could incorporate various parties holding multiple licenses. Third, some social organizations, which have business licenses, are excluded in our data. These three conditions I just listed form the different criteria.

Timing also counts. We have period data and time-point data. The time point used for the Third National Economic Census was Dec. 31, 2013, so all the data collected was based on numbers from that day. But some people may say that, with the reform of the registration system for industrial and commercial sectors, the number of business entities has grown enormously; some even say there has been the growth of a blowout type. But, pay attention, the reform was ratified on Feb. 7th, 2014, so the number did not soar until March. The time periods were different, so the businesses were different.

It's the criteria and the timing which have caused the difference.

Guo Weimin:

That's all for today's conference. Thank you all!

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