The quality of statistical data covering the economic and social development of the People’s Republic of China has been questioned by international and national data users for years. The reasons for this doubt lie mainly in the structure of the Chinese system of statistics. Two parallel systems exist which operate largely autonomously: the national system of statistics and the sectoral system of statistics. In the area of the national statistical system, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has the authority to order and collect statistics. This competence lies with the ministries and authorities below the ministerial level. This article describes and analyses these structures, the resulting problems, and the reform measures taken to date. It also aims to provide a better understanding of the statistical data about the People’s Republic of China and to enable an assessment of them within a changing structural context. In conclusion, approaches to further reforms will be provided based on the author’s long-standing experience in cooperation projects with the official Chinese statistics agencies.