Business / View

Economic shift shows in lack of data

By ED Zhang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-14 09:27

But what I do know is that from the office of a friend of mine, a financial service company in Beijing's central business district, the everyday executive meeting time has been reduced from almost a whole day, at times up to 12 hours a decade ago, to less than 20 minutes today. The rest of the business is done via WeChat, the mobile messaging app, when each executive is doing other things or traveling to meet a client. And we may ask, based on WeChat, how many companies could save how many meeting hours?

Similarly, we don't have a number or a quantified summary of the time that mobile real-time chat can save for a nation of 1.4 billion over face-to-face communication. We don't have a measure of the convenience from a real-time traffic map-there are competing providers of the service-for all drivers in a city. We don't have an account of the time that the rapidly increasing lunch delivery services can save for a city, and all its companies.

Of course, without the ready indexes, an onlooker may still insist that nothing is happening. But it can't be hard to guess-although only guess at this stage-that the less encouraging the old economy appears, the more likely a shift in moneymaking opportunities may occur in new areas. And this is what a transition is all about.

The author is editor-at-large of China Daily.

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