100 Facts About China You Won't Believe


Great Wall of China

90 Facts About China You Won't Believe

  • China is officially known as the People’s Republic of China.
  • China’s Foreign Exchange & Gold Reserves total $US 3 Trillion.
  • Speaking of UNESCO sites in China, the Forbidden City in Beijing has 9,000 rooms all in all. It is one of the largest and oldest imperial palaces in the world.
  • Despite its huge size, China surprisingly only has one timezone. Everybody is using the official Beijing time.
  • China builds a new skyscraper every five days. There is no country in the world that is growing as fast as China. In a year, China builds at least 73 new skyscrapers.
  • You will never eat the same food twice in China. Every region in the country has its own dishes, distinct flavors, and cuisine. In addition, Chinese food is served almost always fresh.
  • Chopsticks were originally used for cooking and not eating.
  • Ketchup is known to be an American condiment, however, its origins are are anything but American. Ketchup comes from the Hokkien Chinese word, “kê-tsiap”, the name of a sauce derived from fermented fish.
  • Unlike brides across the world, Chinese brides wear red instead of white. Red is considered to be a lucky color in China.
  • The Terracotta Army in Xi’an China took 37 years to build. It consists of 8,000 clay soldiers built to guard an Emperor’s tomb.
  • In China, you can scan a QI code to rent an umbrella. The sharing economy is a major trend, with the shift to borrowing rather than buying expected to account for 10% of China’s economy by 2020. Consumers can rent anything from cement mixers to basketballs to umbrellas, while the bike-sharing sector is in high gear. Based on smartphone apps that let people leave bikes anywhere rather than in limited racks, the country’s two market leaders, Ofo and Mobike, have 6 million weekly users between them. Cyclists locate a bike with GPS, scan a QI code and hop on. Even though vandalism and theft have put a stick in the spokes, Ofo only launched two years ago and is already worth around $2 billion.
  • China is on track to become the world’s biggest filer of patents within two years. Far from the ‘Made in China’ cliché of the world’s workshop, China is now a hub of home-grown innovation, with explosive growth in intellectual property. In 2016, the number of international patent filings lodged with the World Intellectual Property Organization rose 45% to 43,000 – more than any other country except Japan or the US, which China is set to overtake if current trends continue.
  • China is building a new Silk Road. The vast One Belt, One Road initiative builds two new trade corridors - one overland, the other by sea – to connect China with its neighbors in the west: Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. China has already committed $1 trillion to the project, which reaches a market of over 3 billion people and is a lynchpin in its vision of globalization. In fact, China is forecast to overtake the US as the world's dominant economic power by 2030, based on the share of global GDP, trade, and exports.
  • As of September 2020, China is the most populated country in the world with over 1.4 billion people (1,439,323,776). This is based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.
  • Over 50% of Chinese live in cities, creating a country in which there are 170+ cities with a population of over 1 million.
  • Han Chinese account for 92% of all Chinese, but there are also over 125 million ethnic minority people in China.
  • China has a landmass of 3.8 million square miles, slightly larger than the USA and third in size in the world to Russia and Canada.
  • Over 1 billion people speak Mandarin Chinese; some 900+ million of them speak it as their first language.
  • During the last decade, China’s economy grew 7X as fast as that of the USA (316% to 43%).
  • China is now the No. 1 industrial and agricultural producer in the world, having recently surpassed the USA.
  • China is the No. 1 exporting country and No. 3 importing country in the world.
  • China has almost 12,000 miles of High-Speed Rail, with its MagLev line capable of speeds up to 300 mph.
  • Mandarin is not the only language in China. There are others such as Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan and Hakka. Some regions in China also have their own dialects.
  • China is considered a “coconut culture”. Chinese people present a stony, formal exterior, but they are actually as warm and welcoming as other cultures. Close friendships and relationships in China are earned over time compared to Western countries.
  • Family members living in one home is a reflection of Chinese success. Elders are highly revered in China. Younger generations are also expected to take care of their aging family members. They even have an Elderly Rights Law!
  • China invests more each year in renewable power than any other country on earth. It’s already the world’s biggest generator of solar power, doubling its output in 2016. This year, China canceled plans to build 100 coal-fired power stations and switched on the world’s largest floating solar farm near the city of Huainan. President Xi Jinping is a vocal supporter of the Paris climate change treaty. Indeed, cuts in fossil fuel use by China and India will outweigh the impact of the United States’ decision to pull out of the treaty.
  • China’s online shopping frenzy is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. November 11, known as Singles’ Day, is a major holiday that comes with a big surge in online shopping. In 2016, $1 billion worth of orders were placed in the first five minutes, and the total trade volume of the day was more than $17 billion. The holiday started as an anti-Valentine’s Day joke in a country with nearly 200 million single people. Known as ‘bare sticks holiday, 11/11 is one-on-one-on-one-on-one, a day when singles buy themselves a gift rather than waiting for the desultory stuffed toy or bouquet.
  • China's biggest online shopping frenzy - Singles' Day - is bigger than Black Friday or Cyber Monday
  • China is building a brand new city twice the size of Manhattan. In a bold move to tackle overcrowding in Beijing, China is building a whole new “green, modern and liveable” city called Xiongan, 100km southwest of the capital. While the initial phase will be double the size of Manhattan, it is ultimately expected to sprawl 20 times that size to an area of 2,000 sq km, more than twice as big as New York City or Singapore.
  • China is now the world’s second-largest economy - and the largest if measured in PPP terms. With a value of $11 trillion, it represents 14.8% of global GDP. In terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), a measure that adjusts a country’s wealth based on what people can afford to buy, China has already overtaken the United States to claim the top spot.
  • China doesn’t just have unicorns. It has ‘decacorns’. China’s tech start-up scene is frisky: the country now boasts at least 100 unicorns – private companies with a $1 billion valuation - and eight decacorns, valued at over $10 billion. These include Ali Baba’s Ant Financial, ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing, smartphone maker Xiaomi, and Tencent Music. The combined net worth of these 108 companies is around US$435 billion, nearly the size of the Belgian economy – prompting some fears of a potential bubble. Meanwhile, Tencent became Asia’s most valuable public company in September, with a valuation at the time of $255 billion.
  • China has over 1,000 “Taobao” villages. Mobile money is huge in China, from online shopping to financial services to entrepreneurship. In rural areas, more than 1,000 “Taobao” villages – named after Alibaba’s shopping site – have sprung up, helping to lure some young graduates back from the cities. A “Taobao Village” is defined by Alibaba as one where over 10% of households run online stores, and where e-commerce revenues exceed 10 million RMB (roughly $1.6 million) per year.
  • The majority of Chinese people remember wars fought at home. History is deeply embedded in their educational system that even their Gen Z population knows Chinese history very well.
  • Fortune cookies did not originate in China (it was invented in San Francisco) and it is not a traditional Chinese custom. This is contrary to what many Westerners think.
  • Put all of China’s railway lines, it can loop around the earth two times!
  • Chinese New Year’s celebration lasts for 15 days! It’s the biggest holiday in China which is usually celebrated in January or February. New year in China is even more popular than Christmas. But here’s an even interesting fact: many countries in the world celebrate Chinese New Year as well.
  • In China, every year is named after one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 2020 is the year of the Rat.
  • The Bailong Elevator in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China can carry visitors up to 300 meters high on a cliff’s edge. This elevator is the world’s heaviest and highest outdoor elevator.
  • China is a multi-religious country. Because of its large population, many world religions have adhered there. However, most Chinese usually practice Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
  • China, along with Italy, has the highest number of UNESCO sites in the world. Some of the most visited UNESCO sites in China include the: Forbidden City in Beijing, The Great Wall of China, Summer Palace in Beijing, and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the world-famous Terracotta Army.
  • Every single Panda living in the whole world belongs to China. That means if you see a Panda in your country, it is lent by China. In China, all Pandas can be found in Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital city.
  • Pandas eat all day long. They take about 10 to 16 hours a day to eat. Despite belonging to the bear family, they do not hibernate.
  • Chinese people are the biggest travel spenders in the world. They spend US $260 billion every year, twice the spending of American travelers.
  • Ancient Chinese medicine already discovered blood 2,000 years before European scientist William Harvey announced it in 1628.
  • Ice cream was discovered in China some 4,000 years ago. The Chinese people back then combined milk, rice mixture, and snow to create the yummy dessert.
  • Chinese people avoid using or mentioning the number “4” as it is associated with death.
  • Nope, football (soccer) was not invented in Europe. The first recorded information about the sport was 2,200 years ago in China. Ancient Chinese people created the world’s first soccer ball made of leather. The ball was filled with feathers and hair and the sport was originally called ‘Tsu’ Chu,’ which means ‘kicking a ball.’
  • China is home to world-class universities. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings released last Wednesday, 2nd September, 7 Chinese universities were included in the top 200 universities in the world. The Chinese universities are Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Nanjing University.
  • Fanjingshan mountain is one of China’s best-kept secrets I know, we said we would give you 30 interesting facts, but here is another one for free! Fanjingshan is in Guizhou province in south China. You can climb up to the top and the view is spectacular. We’ve been here and we actually think it is more impressive than the great wall of China.
  • Peking Man, an early example of Homo Erectus, lived in the caves of China more than 500,000 years ago.
  • Modern Humans walked the plains of China 50,000 years ago.
  • Approximately 10,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age, water buffalo, crocodiles, and elephants roamed Northern China.
  • The earliest Neolithic settlements were established in China 8,500 years ago.
  • Royal Centers, with bronze technology, palatial architecture, and large tombs were part of the first Chinese “civilization,” the Xia Dynasty (2100-1600 BCE).
  • Chinese invented silk, the crossbow, the compass, paper, gun powder, and printing.
  • Chinese created the earliest calendar around 2,600 BCE.
  • The Chinese writing system goes back to the Shang Dynasty (1576-1059 BCE), when it was used on oracle bones, which were used to communicate with spirits.
  • The Chinese were the first to use a place for ‘zero’ and were using the decimal system as early as the 14th century BCE, some 2,300 years before Westerners.
  • Chinese were the first to use paper money (about 1,400 years ago).
  • Chinese science fiction author Hao Jingfang just won a prestigious international prize. An economic researcher by day, Hao Jingfang scooped a Hugo award for Folding Beijing, a dystopian view of a city split into three separate social classes who live on different layers and are awake at different times. It captures real-world concerns about inequality in a country that has experienced a dizzying economic and social transition after years of communism.

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