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There’s a rather nifty little tool that’s been launched on the BBC’s website today, and you can find out how your earnings compare to other people in the country you’re in and to the rest of the world in general. You’ll find the calculator here.

While the BBC's tool is not particularly accurate it does have the advantage of being easier to use than a traditional Chinese calculator. Though I'm told that you can use an abacus for faster (small) calculations than an electronic calculator.

Sadly it appears that someone in the BBC has decided that the RMB has appreciated rather more against the dollar than it actually has. When I entered my average monthly earnings in RMB (there’s no facility for dollars which are what I actually get paid in) – the site announced that I made nearly twice as much as I do.

That’s right through no extra effort of my own the BBC has made me rich beyond my wildest dreams. That’s rather lovely, even if it’s only an illusion that is callously dashed at the ATM.

However, ignoring this little teething problem this does rather illustrate one of the points I was trying to make in some of the China’s Economy Theme. Whilst as you can see Chinese workers do make more than people in India and Mexico, they are behind such stalwarts of economic power like Kazakhstan and Belarus. Overcoming this is one of the key challenges to China as it becomes a truly global power.