China's industrial production growth slowed to 8.6% on year in January and February from 9.7% previously and missed consensus of 9.5%.
Retail sales softened to +11.8% from +13.6% and vs +13.5%.
Urban fixed-asset investment +17.9% vs +19.6% and +19.4%.
The disappointing readings add to other data that indicate that China's economic growth is moderating, including plunging exports.
However, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang became the latest member of the government to indicate that the leadership is prepared to accept slower growth. "The GDP growth target (for 2014) is around 7.5%," Li said. "'Around' means there is some flexibility and we have some tolerance."
Li also reiterated the government's increased acceptance of bankruptcy, saying that some loan defaults are "hard to avoid." He added that the government needs to "enhance oversight" and ensure that there's no "systemic and regional risks."
Meanwhile, Chinese cadres will be assessed on a range of metrics, such as the environment and improving people's lives, and not just on economic growth.
Despite the disappointing data, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.95% amid speculation that listed firms will be permitted to offer preferred shares for the first time.
ETFs: FXI, PGJ, GXC, FXP, CYB, YINN, KWEB, HAO, CNY, ASHR, CHIQ, DSUM, TAO, CHIX, YANG, CQQQ, MCHI, PEK, QQQC, XPP, YAO, CHXX, CHII, FXCH, CHXF, YXI, ECNS, CHIM, CHIE, KFYP, FCA, TCHI, CHLC, CHNA, KBA