A comparison of China-related search terms used on Google in 2015 reveals a change in sentiment towards the world’s second largest economy.
In 2014, search interest reflected a more bullish attitude towards China, with phrases such as “China largest economy,” “China number 1 economy” and “China overtakes US economy” frequently being used as search terms according to the US tech giant.
This year, however, the search queries became far more negative as web surfers increasingly googled terms such as “China economy collapse,” “China economy crisis” and “Why is China economy slowing down.”
While hardly scientific, the search terms provide an insight into what those outside China think about the state of the Chinese economy. During the course of 2015, much has happened to dent the confidence of those with a stake in the middle kingdom.
In January, officials were putting out the message that the slowdown was under control, but by mid year their credibility was in tatters after a shambolic response to the summer stock market selloff which involved pumping in public money and scapegoating journalists.
Things took a turn for the worse in August when policy makers abruptly devalued the yuan, causing a currency shock across emerging markets.
[Image via Bloomberg]