Since the middle of June, the prices of Chinese company shares have fallen by 30 per cent. That amounts to around $3.2 trillion dollars that has been wiped off the stock market in only a few weeks.
It's hard to make sense of such a huge number, but this figure is higher than the UK's GDP in 2013, a comparatively modest $2.7 trillion. One of the big casualties in the HSBC.
Since November last year, Chinese stocks had more than doubled, largely due to small retail investors - 'mom and pop' investors playing the stock market - using borrowed money.
The Chinese government's response is responsible for the sell-off.
The profiteers, seeing the prices of their shares rocket in a fairly short period of time, grabbed the "mom and pop" money and ran when things started getting difficult. It's a house of cards - when the stock market begins to fall, the effect is amplified.
CNN reports that the Shanghai Composite plunged by eight per cent when the market opened this morning.
In a statement, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said: "At the moment, a mood of panic dominates the market and an irrational dumping of shares which is causing a strain of liquidity in the stock market."
Efforts by regulators to restore investor's confidence have failed and stock markets continue to fluctuate wildly. Many companies are suspending their shares and preventing them from being traded amidst the panic.
Unless they manage to calm things down, China could be looking at a major downturn after months of massive growth. What happens in China is a headwind that will impact the rest of the global economy.