Research Center on Fictitious Economy and Data Science

Before clicking the link, guess whether this is about virtual worlds or about finance and credit.

Ok, but even after clicking on the link, I’m not 100% sure. (But I’m glad to know that the board of policy advisers will “develop[] the center towards its objective”—whatever that objective may be.)

I have never heard of the term “fictitious economy”/虚拟经济 (the world of finance and credit, which is “fictitious,” as opposed to manufacturing and labor, which is “real”) before this, but it is apparently standard in Chinese Marxist writing (or writing that pays lip service to Marxism).

A quick Google search seems to show that the English translation “fictitious economy” is not much used in this sense. Whether this is because there is a more common English term for this in Marxist writing is unclear to me. Perhaps an expert on Marxism can comment.

For people who are literate in Chinese, here’s a reasonably good community-generated Baidu entry on it:

Mystery solved (kind of). The actual English term is “fictitious capital.” []

That Marx, such a joker.