Three numbers explain why China’s stock crash was a sideshow

July 24, 2015, 7:00 PM UTC
CHINA-ECONOMY-STOCKS
An investor looks at screens showing stock market movements at a securities company in Beijing on July 14, 2015. Hundreds of firms were expected to resume trading again on July 14, adding to the more than 400 that returned July 13, after they were suspended over the past few weeks to prevent a market meltdown. Authorities intervened after the Shanghai index plunged 30 percent in three weeks, wiping trillions of dollars from market capitalisations, spreading contagion in regional markets and raising fears over the potential impact to the real economy. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Greg Baker – Getty Images

Over a three-week period this summer, China’s stock market plummeted 30%—erasing a staggering $3 trillion in value. The fallout? Not so bad. China’s markets are smaller than in the U.S., most households don’t have any exposure to them, and they’re more prone to booms and busts. The more pressing question lies in whether the country can make a smooth transition away from a manufacturing economy and cool its rapid growth without triggering other economic problems—this time with real global ripple effects.

1990: The last year China’s GDP growth was below 7%, as is expected this year—and every other year for the foreseeable future.
286%: China’s debt-to-GDP ratio. It’s higher than any other developing nation’s, and is largely tied to the overheated real estate sector.
44: Countries that rely on China as their largest export market (quadruple the number a decade ago), and that could be vulnerable to slowing growth.

A version of this article appears in the August 1, 2015 issue of Fortune magazine with the headline “There are reasons to worry about China. Its stock market isn’t one of them.”