Some of this money went to the construction of bridges, roads and other infrastructure. But many things ended up in less productive parts of the economy, like large and inefficient companies run by the state. The most dynamic private sector has not benefited from it.
At the end of last year, Beijing intensified its efforts to curb high levels of debt, which is one of the main reasons why the economy is losing momentum.
Some analysts are skeptical about the Chinese government's commitment to clean up its financial system, especially when the slowdown deepens and the trade war intensifies.
According to Kevin Lai, economist at the Daiwa Capital Markets investment bank, many provincial governments and state-owned companies would find it difficult to stay out of the water without regular low-cost credit injections.
Cutting their credit lines "would have very negative repercussions, such as social unrest, layoffs and bankruptcies," Lai said. This is a scenario that Beijing wants to avoid.
Currency on the rise
The weaker yuan has boosted China's huge export industry, as it makes Chinese products cheaper on global markets. But the collapses of the yuan have caused headaches in the past.
In the midst of strong declines in 2015 and 2016, large sums of money came out of China as investors bet that the yuan would continue to fall. The crisis has forced Beijing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to support its currency.
One yuan that falls quickly could become a vicious circle, according to Manu Bhaskaran, founder of the Centennial Asia research company based in Singapore.
"There could be a huge outflow of capital and this could feed itself," he said.
It seems that Beijing has once again begun to plunge into its huge foreign currency bank in recent months to slow down the yuan's decline, according to research firm Capital Economics.
Real estate bubble
Another threat lies in the overheated real estate market in the country.
Prices have more than doubled in the last decade, according to research firm Gavekal, fueled by low interest rates and a lack of housing in major cities.
But the real estate market now "seems to show some cracks," said Aidan Yao, senior economist at emerging markets at AXA Investment Managers. He pointed to some cases of large property developers who cut prices in the face of a weakening of demand.
"It's just a matter of time before the market gets cold," Yao added.
The real estate industry has been one of the few bright spots for the Chinese economy this year, but it turns into a weight if it collapses, according to analysts of the research firm Fitch Solutions.
"China's problems are chronic, not acute," said Derek Scissors, a Chinese expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
But the moves came too late or did not go far enough, raising serious concerns about China's long-term economic future, according to Scissors.
"The old indebted economies do not grow," he said