China's third national economic census entered its registration phase on New Year's Day after months of preparation, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The census is designed to paint a wide economic picture of China's fast-expanding secondary and tertiary industries and complete a database covering all economic sectors, said NBS head Ma Jiantang. The census will survey over 10 million companies and 60 million privately or individually-owned businesses in the next three months. Nearly three million statisticians will collect data related to enterprise ownership, staff size, financial status, production capacity and research and development activities during the census. According to Ma, refusal to register accurate data, leaking of census data by census officials and institutions, and tampering with data will all be dealt with seriously. Data gathered during the census cannot be used as evidence for legal prosecution, he added. The final results will be released in the second half of 2014, according to the NBS. The census is conducted once every five years.