China headline of the day

Downturn causes 20m job losses in China

The story is here.  And get this:

The figure of 20m unemployed migrants does not include those who have
stayed in cities to look for work after being made redundant and is
substantially higher than the figure of 12m that Wen Jiabao, premier,
gave to the Financial Times in an interview on Sunday. Speaking on a
visit to the UK on Monday, Mr Wen said there had been signs at the end
of last year the Chinese economy might be starting to recover.


I am assuming that the "20m" in the story means 20,000,000 (or 20mm) not 20,000.

It would be nice it people would be more clear.

John Henry

As far as I can tell, 20m always means 20,000,000 except in computer science where it might mean 20 *1024*1024.
People use 20K to mean 20,000.

Dude, France, you invented the metric system. Now get with it.

Guys, this is China. The headline for 20,000 would be "One shoe factory closes." Except that that wouldn't make the news at all. So it has to be millions.

Actually, if I saw "20 mm" I'd think millimeters before I thought millions.

In the engineering world"m" has meant "one thousand" for at least century. For example, Refinery capacity is often expressed as "mBBL/day. that is, "thousand barrels per day." Also, the "m"s multiply. For example, a standard unit of measure for gas pipeline capacity is "million standard cubic feet per day" which is written as "mmCFD".

However, with the rise of metric units and the proliferation of calculators that readily handle "engineering notation" (scientific nation with the exponent constrained to be a factor of three) the "m" notation has largely faded away.


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