Based on numerous economists’ estimates at the end of 2014, China now ranks as the world's largest economy.

While we could do a separate stat on the number of economists who believe that China is now the world’s largest economy and the number who don’t (including the Beijinger's Most Interesting People of 2014 alumnus Michael Pettis), the fact that there is an increasing consensus affirming China’s economic power, not just its growth, is singularly noteworthy.

China takes the number one spot based on purchasing power parity (PPP), which calculates what purchasing a basket of goods (foodstuffs, energy, and other basics) would cost while converting for local currency. Or something like that. It allows economists and others to estimate both the size of economies and the ability of participants in those economies purchase goods, hence “purchasing power parity.”

In 2013, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) was valued at USD 9.24 trillion. In 1962, it was valued at USD 46.5 billion. By comparison, China-based technology company Xiaomi was valued at about USD 45 billion at the end of 2014. That GDP still puts it behind the United States in a very strong second position. The point is: for 2015, if you’re in Beijing, you’re in the right place.

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Photo: Halla Mohieddeen


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