Bill Gates' astonishing tweet goes viral

The Microsoft boss was quoting a statistic from a new book by Vaclav Smil, comparing China and the U.S.

June 15, 2014

Bill Gates released an astonishing tweet on Thursday that shows just how rapidly the Chinese economy has grown in recent years.

After reading Vaclav Smil's Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, the Microsoft boss published a stunning statistic from the book, comparing how much cement China has used to construct new buildings and infrastructure during its recent boom period as opposed to the U.S.

Everybody knows that China is an imposing force in the world and statistically will become the new global superpower by 2016. But this startling statistic tells us that in the past three years alone, the Far Eastern superpower used the same amount of concrete the U.S. used to build an entire century’s worth of roads, bridges and towers.

Gates also noted that while this huge growth spurt may have helped China to escape poverty, it can be largely blamed for its current property bubble. And you thought the Great Wall was impressive.