Decoding China — Filtering Through the Noise: What’s Actually Happening in China?

From property and tech crackdowns to the sixth plenum and “common prosperity,” making sense of what’s going on in China can be confusing these days. On Wednesday, November 10, Damien Ma (Managing Director, MacroPolo) and Houze Song (Research Fellow, MacroPolo) discussed these topics and more in a live and informal conversation on the world’s second-largest economy.

Damien and Houze shared their insights on the Chinese economy, took stock of the year that China has had, and looked ahead to what may transpire in the upcoming political year.

Damien Ma headshot
Damien Ma

Managing Director, MacroPolo   

Damien Ma is Managing Director of the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where he co-founded MacroPolo. He is the author or editor of the books, In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China’s Ascent in the Next Decade. He is the editor of The Economics of Air Pollution in China (by Ma Jun). He currently also serves as adjunct faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Previously, Ma was a Senior Analyst at Eurasia Group, the political risk research and advisory firm. At EG, he mainly focused on the China and East Asia markets, covering areas that spanned energy and commodities and industrial policy to elite politics and US-China relations. He also led work on analyzing Mongolian politics and its mining sector. His advisory and analytical work served a range of clients from institutional investors and multinationals to the US, Japanese, and Singaporean governments. Prior to joining Eurasia Group, he was a manager of publications at the US-China Business Council in Washington, DC, where he was also an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Early in his career, he worked at public relations firm H-Line Ogilvy in Beijing, where he served multinational clients. In addition, Ma has published widely, including in The Atlantic, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg, among others. He has also appeared in a range of broadcast media such as the Charlie Rose Show, BBC, NPR, and CNBC. In addition to media appearances, Ma has keynoted or spoken at various industry, investor, and academic conferences, including CLSA and Credit Suisse Latin America. Ma is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was named a “99under33” foreign policy leader by the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.

Houze Song headshot
Houze Song

Research Fellow, MacroPolo   

Houze Song is a Research Fellow at the Paulson Institute, where he works primarily on the Institute’s think tank activities. He previously worked as a researcher at Columbia Global Center (East Asia). Before that, he worked as a research manager at Unirule Institute, where he assisted the chairman Mao Yushi with research and project management. He holds a MA in Quantitative Methods and a MPA in International Economics, both from Columbia University.