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About China Confidential

China Confidential is a research service providing indispensable guidance for investors and corporations navigating the complex Chinese investment landscape.

We offer a comprehensive suite of subscription-based research products. This encompasses:

  • Monthly indicators based on our own proprietary data.
  • An in-depth fortnightly report analysing the latest developments across key sectors of the Chinese economy.
  • A fortnightly conference call enabling subscribers to discuss the latest findings with our research team.
  • Up-to-the-minute alerts delivered straight to your inbox.

We survey thousands of consumers, real estate developers, manufacturers, logistics companies, employers and underground financial institutions each month, leveraging our extensive network of researchers in cities across China to generate grassroots research on the trends that matter to you – often yielding calls that challenge conventional wisdom.  

Our extensive historical data is made available – separate to our existing subscription packages – for analysis and download on our proprietary Database product. We also offer custom research tailored to the needs of individual clients, leveraging our network of researchers and our survey capacity and expertise.

Unlike research produced by investment banks and brokers, we offer complete impartiality, with no vested interest in promoting a specific perspective. We combine findings from our proprietary research with insight from our team of experienced researchers and analysts to provide objective, predictive analysis of the real state of the Chinese economy.

About the team

China Confidential has a large team of experienced researchers based in nine provinces and municipalities across China, as well as a substantial research and commercial presence in London, New York and Hong Kong.

James Kynge

Chairman, FT Confidential

James Kynge is Chairman of FT Confidential, having worked as Principal from its founding in 2008 until 2014. As Chairman, James monitors output and represents FT Confidential at speaking events and research meetings.

He is Emerging Markets Editor and Associate Editor at the Financial Times.

James has considerable experience of Asia, having been based in China for 16 years, as well as Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia during a career as a researcher, journalist and executive since 1985. From 2005 to 2008, he headed up the Pearson Group of companies’ business operations in China. He was also President of FTChinese.com, the FT’s Chinese-language website.

His prize-winning book China Shakes the World was an international bestseller, and was translated into 19 languages.

Richard Lapper

Principal, FT Confidential

Richard directs the research of the Confidential group and – on a day-to-day basis – the operations of LatAm Confidential. His involvement with FT Confidential began in August 2010 when he founded Brazil Confidential, which was merged into a broader Latin American product in September 2013.

Richard was previously a journalist at the Financial Times. He was Latin America editor of the newspaper between May 1998 and September 2008, before spending two years in Johannesburg as the FT’s Southern Africa bureau chief. He was previously insurance correspondent (1990-1994), capital markets editor (1994-1997) and financial news editor at the paper.

Richard began his journalistic career at London-based Latin America Newsletter in 1979, and ahead of joining the FT in 1990 worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit and a wide variety of other media outlets. He has lived in both Brazil and Central America and is fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish.

Matthew Plowright

Principal, China Confidential

Matthew Plowright is Principal of China Confidential, directing China Confidential’s research output across our subscription and custom products. He has overseen China Confidential’s research since the beginning of 2012.

Matthew has spent much of the last decade living and working in China. Prior to joining China Confidential, he worked as chief macro economist at a Shanghai-based investment research firm and as editor of a leading Beijing-based English-language business magazine. Matthew also has extensive journalistic experience, having worked as an editor and reporter on a range of online and offline finance- and emerging-markets-focused publications. He is a graduate of Cambridge University.

Sun Yu

Head of Network Research, China Confidential

Sun Yu is Head of Network Research at China Confidential, managing our team of researchers across China. Sun Yu oversees the research for the monthly Big Call section of our report, which focuses on in-depth research into key macro and sector-specific topics, ranging from broad trends in infrastructure investment to specific developments in robotics. He also helped to create and develop a number of our key monthly macro surveys, including Exports, Freight, Labour and Underground Banking.

Sun Yu joined China Confidential in 2010, having accrued significant experience as a researcher and journalist. He was previously employed as a news researcher at the Financial Times’ Beijing bureau. He holds a master’s degree in business and economic journalism from New York University, where he was a Wall Street Journal journalism fellow.  

Rafael Halpin

Head of Quantitative Research, China Confidential

Rafael is Head of Quantitative Research at FT Confidential and is also the director of capital intensive industries research at China Confidential. He joined FT Confidential from MEPS International, an independent steel industry consultancy, where he led their research into the Chinese capital intensive industries sector. Prior to that, Rafael lived and worked in Shanghai as the China analyst for a steel consultancy. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

Xiao Qi

Director of Financial Research, China Confidential

Xiao Qi is the Director of Financial Research at China Confidential. He joined China Confidential in February 2009 after completing a master’s degree in economics at University College London and has subsequently overseen our research into both formal and shadow finance sectors. 

Teresa Yan

Director of Consumer Research, China Confidential

Teresa Yan oversees China Confidential’s consumer research, leading our team of consumer analysts to identify trends impacting on key consumer companies and stocks. Prior to joining China Confidential in 2011, Teresa was a senior reporter at the China division of Interfax, Russia’s largest industry-specific newswire, covering China’s telecoms, media and technology (TMT) sectors. She has also previously worked at the American Chamber of Commerce and the Financial Times’ Shanghai bureau. She received a master’s degree in journalism from Shanghai International Studies University.

Wang Suya

Research Manager, China Confidential

Wang Suya is Research Manager at China Confidential, working with our Research Directors and Researchers to shape our research methodology across our suite of subscription and custom research products. Suya joined China Confidential as a consumer researcher in 2009, and subsequently headed up our rural research and was acting director of custom research projects. Prior to joining China Confidential, Suya worked at Xinhua Finance, an English-language newswire affiliated to the official Xinhua News Agency. There she covered macroeconomy, consumer goods and technology in greater China region. Suya is a graduate of Peking University.

About FT Confidential

FT Confidential is an independent research service that provides impartial quantitative and qualitative analysis of key global growth markets. We offer regular analysis and statistical insight into the ChinaAsean and Latin America markets, utilising a combination of proprietary survey data and extensive on-the-ground research. Our research is distributed through a range of subscription-based products. 

Our powerful Database (currently limited to China, and separate to our existing subscription packages) provides users with direct access to the extensive historical data generated by our monthly and quarterly surveys of thousands of companies and consumers.

About the FT

China Confidential is brought to you by the Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news and information organisation, recognised for our authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT provides a broad range of essential services to the growing audience of internationally minded business people. Read more about the FT.


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