China has had one of the highest growth rates in the
world since the country in 1978 decided to modernize the
centrally managed planning economy. Since 1978 and up to
2003, GDP at comparable prices, according to official
figures, has doubled. During the same period, per capita GDP
has grown by an average of 8.2 per cent per year. In 2017,
GDP grew by 6.9 per cent.
With its size and rapid growth, China has become an
economic powerhouse in the world. However, the country must
still be considered among the developing countries. Although
growth figures have been high, the Chinese economy is
characterized by structural problems with unbalanced
development, major regional differences, supply problems,
inflationary pressures, corruption, weak legal protection,
camaraderie and closed political processes.
to countryaah, China
led after the founding of People's Republic of centrally
directed planning economy after Soviet style. During " The
Great Leap " in 1958-1960 and the Cultural Revolution in
1966-1976, the country experienced severe setbacks.
In 1978, a reform period began, introducing market
economy reforms, so-called "socialism with Chinese
features". At the same time, the strict political control of
the Communist Party was maintained. The reforms included
"The Four Modernizations" in agriculture, industry, science
and defense. Until 1990, direct foreign investment was
gradually opened in selected industries in special economic
zones and in selected cities. The first four zones were
established at strategic points: Shenzhen at the Hong Kong
border, Zhuhai at the Macao border, Shantou with cultural
links to overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, and Xiamen with
cultural links across the Taiwan Strait.
The reform measures immediately led to rapid economic
growth a few years until the end of the 1980s. After 1992,
growth accelerated after new and far more profound reform
measures were implemented. Among other things, privately
owned enterprises were legitimized. The goal was a strong
private sector under macroeconomic control, but where the
political and social development should still be under the
control of the Communist Party under the formula socialist
Gradually, three regional economic centers of power have
emerged: Pearl River Delta (Zhu Jiangs) delta area from the
1980s, Chang Jiangs (Yangtsekiangs delta area) with
Shanghai, southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang from the
1990s, and Bohai Bay with Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong and
Liaoning from about 2000. Government investments are mainly
focused on the construction of infrastructure and other
In an effort to channel growth from the coastal provinces
to the middle and western regions, investment has been made
inland. Among other things, the authorities have initiated
the construction of the huge San Xia dam (Three Gorges Dam),
which will have a negative impact on business in the upper
and middle parts of the Chang Jiang Valley.
Among the most notable economic developments after 1978
is the growth and development of the service industries.
Prior to being a priority, developments in the retail,
banking, insurance, finance and hotel industries and the
restaurant industry have been an important factor in the
development of China as a modern country. Several of these
service industries were previously virtually non-existent
and are still in a development process to adapt to
international standards and quality requirements.
China is traditionally a prominent agricultural country.
In 2017, the agricultural sector accounted for 7.9 per cent
of GDP. The total cultivated area comprises approximately 16
per cent (152 million hectares) of China's land, while
utilizable meadow and pasture area comprises 33 per cent.
Agricultural production is adapted to the large
variations in climate, water availability, soil and
topography found within China's borders. Among other things,
agriculture is adapted to the country's many climate zones;
respectively from subtropical in the south to subarctic in
the north, and from humid and watery in the east to dry in
In the subtropical areas in the south where it is
possible to cultivate the soil even in winter, three
harvests per year are common. In temperate areas where
agriculture is impossible in the winter, one has either one
harvest per year or three harvests for each two-year period.
In the humid areas, agricultural production is relatively
stable. In the semi-arid areas, agriculture is unstable,
while in the arid areas it is only possible with the help of
irrigation systems. In the water-rich subtropical areas in
the southeast, cultivation takes place in many places so
intensely that there is almost talk of horticulture.
A large part of the country encompasses vast mountainous
areas with steep slopes, thin soils and large elevation
differences, and is only applicable to forestry and animal
husbandry. In the arid and ecologically fragile areas of
northwestern China and the high and arid Tibetan Plateau,
which together comprise 55 percent of China's land area,
agricultural potential is very low. In addition, agriculture
is frequently hit by natural disasters such as floods,
typhoons, extremely cold winds (sometimes with sand or
snowstorms), warm winds and hailstorms. Agriculture is also
limited in many places by increasing alkalization of the
A major divide between northern and southern China runs
along the Qinling Mountains and Huaielva (Huai He). Unlike
agriculture north of the dividing line, agriculture in the
south is characterized by extensive wetland cultivation. The
main agricultural areas are concentrated to river plains
along the lower part of Chang Jiang and its delta regions,
to the North China Plain (also called Huang-Huai-Haisletta
after the rivers crossing it) in eastern China, and to
Song-Nensletta and Liaohesletta (combined also called the
Man-Jurassic Plain) in Northeast China.
Other important agricultural areas in northern China are
areas along the central Huangel River (Huang He) such as
Guanzhongsletta in Shaanxi, Hetaosletta in Inner Mongolia
and the Yinchuan Plateau in Ningxia. All of these are partly
dependent on artificial irrigation. The wetland areas are
mainly found on the river plains along the middle and lower
parts of Chang Jiang including the Yunmeng plain north of
Dongting Lake, the plains around Lake Poyang, Lake Tai (Tai
Hu), Chaos Lake (Chao Hu), the Chang Jiang Delta area, the
Chengdu Valley in the Sichuan Basin and along the Sichuan
Basin in Southeast and South China.
China can be divided into nine agricultural regions, each
with its own distinctive features: Northeast China is
primarily a rich forestry area, but in recent times there
has been significant new cultivation for grain production.
In Inner Mongolia and along the Great Wall, the environment
is vulnerable. However, there are extensive grasslands where
both agriculture and livestock are practiced. Animal
husbandry is significant over most of this region.
The North China plain is an important grain and cotton
producing area. However, the region is plagued by frequent
floods and droughts as well as ever-increasing salt content
in the lowest-lying areas. The Loose Plateau (Shanxi,
Shaanxi and Gansu) is characterized by severe erosion
problems caused by loose soil. Here, special grains, other
than rice and wheat, are grown, which are more resistant to
Central China with the areas along the middle and lower
parts of the Chang River (Chang Jiang) has very good
conditions for agriculture, forestry and fishing. Here,
inter alia, grains are grown in intensive agriculture. The
Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the southwest has a poorly
developed economy, but is an important timber and grain
producing area. Here the land is cultivated in the mountain
valleys and on high plains (bazi).
Southern China with parts of Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi,
Yunnan and Hainan has surplus water and heat. Here,
subtropical and tropical plants are grown. However, land
resources are scarce and the region is not self-sufficient
in food. Northwest China (Gansu, Xinjiang and western Inner
Mongolia) has dry climates, large desert areas and high
mountains. Cultivation of the land here can only take place
with artificial irrigation from oases. Traditional herding
of cattle is the dominant activity in this region.
The Tibetan Plateau (Tibet, Qinghai and Western Sichuan)
has high tundra landscapes. Here, cultivation takes place
only on small terraces in river valleys. Herding of cattle
as well as harvesting is the most important agricultural
Organization and development
In 2019, the rural population comprises approximately 40
per cent of the total population. The labor force is NOK 806
million, of which 27.7 per cent is employed in agriculture
(2016). It is estimated that agriculture has an
over-employment of about 150 million, with China having a
significant potential unemployment problem.
Many farmers have had to find alternative ways to earn
income. Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant
migration from the countryside to the cities to seek
employment. The largest migration is from Sichuan, Henan,
Anhui, Hunan and Jiangxi, and most travel to the coastal
provinces of the east and south. In the poorest agricultural
districts, which mainly include Yunnan, Guizhou, Ningxia and
Gansu, the rural population is less mobile.
To seek to absorb the surplus population in the
countryside, the development of so-called "village
enterprises" has intensified; Chinese xiangzhen qiye,
English Township and Village Enterprises (TVE). In
2003, these companies employed a total of 136 million
people. Most TVEs are collectively owned, and many use
simple technology in various activities, such as processing
of agricultural products and production of consumables. Most
successful are these enterprises in the coastal provinces of
Before the communist takeover of power in 1949, landlords
and wealthy peasants, who made up less than 10 percent of
the people, owned more than 70 percent of the land. During
the first phase of land reform that began in 1950, the
peasants were first organized into mutual aid associations,
later in agricultural cooperatives. The earth was still in
private hands, but was operated on a common basis.
During " The Great Leap " in 1958, the peasants were
organized in about 24,000 local communities, each of which
included 5,000 to 10,000 families living in villages. In
1961–1962, the municipalities were reduced in size, and the
number increased to about 56,000. Management was
decentralized by delegating more responsibility down to the
subdivisions, 710,000 production brigades. People's communes
were the cornerstone of China's socialism, and this
collectivization of 600 million peasants has been called
"history's greatest social experiment".
As part of the modernization efforts in agriculture, the
people's municipalities in 1984 were turned into "village
enterprises". The authorities introduced a quota system
where farmers were allowed to sell surplus production in the
free market after the quotas were delivered to the state.
The farmers were also granted rights to the land through
settlement contracts where the individual households are
responsible for production in their own areas. Production
immediately increased very quickly, but the authorities
later had to intervene through price controls, subsidization
and other measures to prevent inflation, secure diversified
production and prevent overproduction of certain products.
Despite the measures, income disparities between the rural
population and the urban population have increased.
There are also major regional differences. While farmers
in the areas around the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai
and Guangzhou have been able to increase their income
through the cultivation of a wide variety of products, the
majority of farmers in other parts of the country have not
had the same opportunity.
The organization of agriculture is therefore still a
controversial political issue. Grain production is the key
factor for China to feed itself. However, the country is not
entirely self-sufficient in grain. It was long feared in the
1990s that international grain trade would collapse on the
day China had to import grain from outside. However, for the
time being, it has emerged that the authorities are able to
keep production levels at a controlled level that the world
market is capable of handling.
Over 90 percent of the rice land is located south of the
Qinling Mountains, while 60 percent of the wheat is grown
between the Qinling Mountains and the Great Wall of China in
the north. However, there is an extensive mix of the two
main growths. Since the beginning of the 1980s, agricultural
land, primarily rice fields in southern China, has tended to
be converted into industrial land. At the same time,
productivity growth has been highest in northern China. The
wheat-producing northern areas have therefore increased
their relative importance over the rice-producing areas in
Agriculture is also subject to a structural change where
more profitable forms of operation, such as growing oil
crops (22.5 million tonnes) and meat production increase in
favor of less profitable grain cultivation. China is the
world's largest producer of rice with 21 percent of world
production in 2000.
Unlike the other cereals, rice production has not
increased significantly since the early 1980s. Along the
Changelva, rice is grown in the summer during the monsoon
rains, while the rice fields in winter are used for fish
farming or for the cultivation of wheat, barley or legumes.
The rice is grown everywhere by artificial irrigation. In
Sichuan and other mountainous areas, the mountain slopes can
be terraced far up.
Wheat cultivation is of particular importance in northern
China, where it assumes the role of rice. In the North China
Plain, along the Huangel River, three crops are often
harvested in two years, with winter wheat being grown in
crop rotation with a variety of crops such as millet,
kaoliang (giant millet), corn, soybeans, cotton, rapeseed,
peanuts and sweet potatoes. North of the Great Wall, the
climate allows only one crop per year, and in the northern
part of Manjury (Northeast China) wheat is the main crop.
Maize is cultivated especially in Sichuan, Hebei and Male
Jury. Production was growing rapidly in the 1980s.
Millet is the most important grain in the southern parts
of Manjury, but production is declining. In the northwest,
millet, oats and summer wheat are grown and barley grown up
to 4600 meters above sea level in Tibet. China is by far the
world's largest producer of tobacco with an average
production of over three million tonnes of leaves, and
together with India is the world's largest producer of tea.
About 65 percent of the tea is grown in the mountain and
valley areas south of Chang Jiang. China was previously the
world's most important tea producer, but declined sharply as
a result of competition from India and Sri Lanka. After 1949
production has again increased as a result of new
China is also the world's largest producer of cotton. The
crops can vary considerably from year to year, since cotton
prices are still set by the authorities. Cotton is mainly
grown in the plains of eastern China north of Chang Jiang as
well as in Xinjiang. Hemp, flax, jute and more are also
In the subtropical and tropical parts of the southeast,
sugar cane, citrus fruits, rubber and sisal hemp are grown.
Sichuan is China's leading producer of heavy oil, mulberry
and silk. Other important areas for silk breeding are the
Pearl River and Changelva delta areas. Here, mulberries and
cane are often grown in connection with fish farming. Dig
ponds and plant mulberry trees, sugar cane and fruit trees
along the banks.
During the reform period, fruit growing has become a very
important part of agriculture. Shandong, Guangdong and Hebei
are the most important fruit growing areas.
Animal husbandry previously meant most in the outer areas
of China. However, the stocks have increased dramatically
during the reform period of the 1980s. While meat production
(pigs, cattle, sheep) doubled between 1952 and 1978, it
doubled in the period 1978–1995.
China is now the world's largest producer of meat and
eggs. The main meat producing areas are Shandong, Jiangsu
and Hunan as well as Sichuan. The production of eggs and
chicken is concentrated to Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan, Hebei,
Hubei, Liaoning and Jilin.
China has about 40 percent of the world's pigs, the
largest stock of poultry, horses and donkeys, as well as
significant stocks of sheep, goat, cattle, mules and camels.
Horses and mules in the north and buffalo in the south are
used as migratory animals. Animal husbandry is very
important in ethnic areas of Qinghai, Tibet, Xinjiang, Gansu
and Inner Mongolia.
China is one of the world's largest producers of
minerals. Nevertheless, the mineral resources are relatively
small compared to the large population. The country has the
world's largest deposits of over 20 types of minerals
including coal, titanium, lead, zinc, molybdenum, tungsten,
tin, lithium, antimony, mercury, niobium, magnesite,
graphite, flux, tungsten, refractory clay and rare earth
metals. The country also has larger deposits, but is not
self-sufficient with iron, manganese, bauxite, copper,
silver, oil and gas.
China alone accounts for 42 percent of the world's coal
production (2004). At the same time, coal accounts for 75
per cent of energy production. Coal deposits are therefore
strategically important, although the authorities want to
reduce coal consumption for environmental reasons. The
reserves are very large (334 billion tonnes, 2003), but are
unevenly distributed. Just over 60 percent is concentrated
to Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, while the remainder
is found in Heilongjiang, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui, Henan,
Guizhou, Yunnan, Ningxia and Xinjiang. It gives the
distribution pattern: "rich in the north, poor in the south"
and "much in the west, less in the east".
Shipping of coal from the coal-rich north and west to the
industrializing provinces along the east and south coasts
creates major challenges for the country's transport
network. Shanxi is both the largest producer and by far the
largest coal exporting province. Coal is transported by rail
from Shanxi through Beijing to the port city of Qinhuangdao,
and from there by boat to Chang Jiang Valley and southern
China. Coal is also exported abroad, and China is the
world's third largest coal exporter (2004).
Although China, due to its large population, is not
self-sufficient in oil, the country has relatively large oil
resources. The country is the world's seventh largest oil
producer (2018). Production is 3.8 million barrels per day
(2018), while reserves are estimated at 25.6 billion barrels
Currently, most of the oil production takes place on
land, but the oil reserves along the east and south coasts
are possibly among the largest in the world. The most
important oil fields are the relatively ancient Daqing and
Liaohe fields in northeastern China as well as Karamay and
Tahe in Xinjiang, Yumen in Gansu, Qaidam basin in Qinghai,
Shengli in Shandong and Sichuan basin. The relatively newly
discovered fields in western China will require large
investments in infrastructure to transport the oil to the
industrial areas in the east and south.
The most interesting offshore fields are in the Gulf of
Bohai and in the northern part of the South China Sea. Since
1980, foreign oil companies have been involved in oil
exploration offshore, and from 1985 also in the onshore
exploration. Natural gas production started much later than
oil production. China is the world's sixth largest natural
gas producer (2017). The reserves of natural gas are
estimated at 5.4 trillion cubic meters (2018).
The most important natural gas production area is the
Sichuan basin traditionally. Larger newly discovered
reserves of natural gas can be found in the Tahe field in
the northern Tarim basin of Xinjiang and in a field in the
East China Sea that lies partly in a disputed area between
China and Japan. A gas pipeline from the Tarim Basin to
Shanghai was completed in 2004. Replacing coal with natural
gas in the household is a stated goal, and this has come the
furthest in Shanghai and Guangdong.
The iron ore deposits are estimated at 21 billion tonnes
(2003), and are abundant in the anthracite fields of Shanxi,
Hebei and Shandong, among others. The ore occurs in
connection with coal, and it is processed by the industry in
northern China. The significant deposits of tin are mainly
mined in Guangxi and Yunnan. Some of the world's largest
tungsten mines are found in Hunan and Jiangxi.
In Hunan lies the world's largest antimony mine, while
one of the world's largest copper mines is in Jiangxi. The
use of gold has 3000-year-old traditions in China, and gold
is mined today in several provinces.
China has more than enough deposits of various
non-metallic minerals used in the construction industry. The
country also has huge deposits of salt, which is extracted,
among other things, in dry salt lakes in Qinghai, Xinjiang,
Tibet and Inner Mongolia. Marble and granite are Chinese
quality products. Both are mined in several places in
eastern China and exported to the West, among others.
Due to its size, China has during the reform period
developed into a very important player in the world energy
market. In 2016, the country accounted for 17.2 per cent of
the world's primary energy production and 21.6 per cent of
consumption. The country is not self-sufficient in energy
and relies on importing both oil and coal.
Coal is traditionally the most important source of energy
and accounted for 62 per cent of the energy supply in 2016,
while oil accounted for 19 per cent, natural gas 6 per cent
and hydropower 9 per cent. Traditional energy sources are
also important, and in the countryside, biomass accounts for
about 75 per cent of household energy supply.
China is the world's largest producer of electrical
energy. In 2016, electricity generation was 6187 TWh, which
represented 24.8 per cent of total electricity generation in
the world. Production was distributed on heat power with
fossil energy (72 per cent), hydropower (19.5 per cent) and
nuclear power (3.5 per cent). The contribution from wind
turbines and solar power plants was 237 TWh and 75 TWh
In recent years, China has evolved to become the world's
largest producer of hydropower, wind power and solar power.
In 2009, the world's largest dam plant was completed. The
plant is located at Chang Jiang (Yangtsekiang) and is
referred to as San Xia (Three Gorges Dam). The capacity of
the dam is estimated at 22 150 million cubic meters of
water. After all the units in the associated hydropower
plant were commissioned in 2012, a total installed capacity
of 22,500 megawatts was installed. The power plant is meant
to channel economic growth from the richer coastal provinces
to the upper reaches of the Chang Jiang Valley. A number of
dam plants with hydropower plants have also been built
along Huangelva. In southern China, there are many
hydropower plants that exploit the region's large surplus of
water, but these are mainly located in outskirts.
China has also developed a significant nuclear industry.
The industry is based on imported Western technology, but
gradually the country has become independent of it and
developed its own nuclear reactors for sale worldwide. China
is now the third largest nuclear power producer in the world
(after the US and France).
In 2016, the energy intensity in China is estimated at
12.6 MJ/USD against 5.7 MJ/USD in the world as a whole.
Adjusted for purchasing power parity, the energy intensity
is 6.3. The high energy intensity is largely due to the use
of coal in older power plants with poor efficiency. Coal
ovens, which are widespread in households, also have low
energy efficiency. In addition, the industry has high energy
intensity, caused by old technology. Low prices have meant
that companies have had little use in streamlining their
Growth in energy production has not kept pace with growth
in industry and in the economy in general. At the same time,
energy demand in the future will increase dramatically in
line with industrialization, urbanization and the increased
need for transport. The authorities have therefore initiated
several processes in an attempt to secure energy supply as a
basis for continued economic growth. China is already
importing significant quantities of crude oil (the world's
sixth largest oil importer in 2003), but imports will have
to continue to increase sharply in the future. The
authorities have therefore invested actively in Central
Asia, and elsewhere to secure access to foreign oil sources.
Among other things, an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan is under
High consumption of coal has meant that China accounts
for the largest emissions of the greenhouse gas CO 2.
Coal power plants are also the cause of local pollution and
acid rainfall. Although coal will be the main source of
energy for a long time to come, the authorities have taken
several measures to reduce energy consumption depending on
fossil energy. In 2016, a new five-year plan was presented
in which previously announced projects for the construction
of coal-fired power plants were canceled and a greater focus
is now on developing nuclear power, wind power and solar
energy. However, China's dependence on coal will continue
for a long time to come, partly because coal is considered
cheaper than other energy sources.
The industrial sector has evolved sharply since the
reform period began in 1978. Today, China is among the
world's leading manufacturers of a wide range of industrial
products, and especially lighter, labor-intensive products.
For example, China produces over half of the world's toys,
bicycles and footwear.
After the communist takeover of power in 1949, industry
became a priority in the country's economic development. In
the first five-year plan (1953–1957), special emphasis was
placed on developing the heavy industry in the form of large
capital-intensive industrial projects, partly financed and
supported by the Soviet Union. During the Great Leap in
1958-1960 and partly also during the Cultural Revolution in
1966-1976, it was decided to focus on the "backyard
industry", but the experiment with small, local industrial
companies proved unsuccessful.
Throughout the 1970s, the recognition grew that the
country could not keep up with developments in neighboring
countries without opening up to the outside world. A gradual
opening of the economy was therefore initiated from 1978.
Industry can be divided into two sectors: the state and
the non-state. The latter includes collective enterprises
located in both rural and urban areas, private enterprises
and foreign-funded enterprises. While these relate to the
market economy, state-owned enterprises are far and away
enjoying free access to subsidies in the form of loans and
credits regardless of financial results.
The state-owned enterprises were built up under the
centralized planning economy. They have traditionally played
an important role in the country's welfare policy as they
have funded hospitals, schools, kindergartens, nursing homes
and other social measures for employees and their families.
After the introduction of market economy reforms, most
state enterprises encountered problems, and they became
dependent on continued government subsidy. Closing these is
difficult without causing mass unemployment with associated
social problems. Still, it is a long-term goal for the
government to get rid of all the state-owned enterprises
with the exception of about 500 key companies.
The southeastern coastal region (from southern Jiangsu
and Shanghai to Hainan) was the first area to benefit from
open industrial and trade policy, and has been the leading
growth area for the light industry. The area was able to
exploit its cultural links early with the so-called "Great
China", which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign Chinese
in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
The development of the industry is heavily dependent on
access to foreign technology. As part of this, the country
has welcomed foreign partners, either in joint ventures or
as direct foreign investment (DUI). A large proportion of
the DUIs are carried out by Hong Kong and Taiwanese
compatriots and by foreigners in Southeast Asia. Hong Kong
alone accounts for 35 percent, while Taiwan and the rest of
Asia account for another 30 percent. Hong Kong share
includes investments made by Chinese in Southeast Asia and
Taiwan channeled through Hong Kong.
Western investment first began to arrive in the
mid-1990s. Many of the Western investors, like the Japanese,
have invested in the automotive and telecommunications
One of the driving forces of industrial growth has been
the potentially large domestic market. Although a large
majority of the population still has to be considered poor -
many in part very poor, China still has a large and growing
middle class which, overall, has developed into one of the
world's most buoyant. Therefore, there is a large domestic
market for all kinds of consumer goods from electrical
household goods to cars. At the same time, a large supply of
cheap labor has made labor-intensive Chinese products
attractive on the world market.
Iron and steel production has long been a key factor in
China's industry. Production is concentrated to key
enterprises, of which eleven are integrated with mining. The
largest steel works are in Anshan (Liaoning), Wuhan (Hubei),
Baoshan (near Shanghai), Ma'anshan (Anhui), Baotou (Inner
Mongolia), Benxi (Liaoning) and Chongqing (Sichuan).
The modernization of the country has otherwise
contributed to a tremendous growth in the construction
industry. China is one of the world's largest cement
producers. The country is also one of the world's leading
producers of paper, although its volume per capita is small
compared to Western countries.
The chemical industry is heavily developed, with the
production of fertilizers, plastics and synthetic fibers.
The large oil deposits have formed the basis for the
construction of a significant petrochemical industry with
refineries in, among others, Lanzhou, Daqing, Dalian,
Yanshan at Beijing and Shanghai. China, including Hong Kong,
is second only to the world's largest producer of petroleum
products. The state-controlled petroleum industry has been
restructured into two competing state-owned enterprises.
China began to exploit its coal reserves in the production
of ammonia in the 1960s, but the methods were later sought
to be modernized.
The mechanical industry encompasses a wide range of
products, from railway equipment, cars and bicycles to
refrigerators and television sets. This industry is located
in a large number of manufacturing sites across the country,
with Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Changchun and
Guangdong Province as the main centers. The automotive
industry is growing strongly thanks to imports of foreign
technology and investments.
The electronics industry, well aided by good access to
highly qualified personnel, has evolved to become the
fastest growing industry branch. China is the world's fourth
largest PC manufacturer, but many subcomponents are imported
from the United States via Hong Kong. In 2001, China had
more than 10,000 software companies with a total workforce
of around 400,000 workers.
The textile industry is another important industry. China
is the world's largest manufacturer of cotton yarn and
cotton and silk fabrics, as well as a leading manufacturer
of woolen yarn and woolen textiles. The textile industry is
spread across a large number of production sites, many of
which are located to the coastal provinces, but also more to
Among the most successful sectors of China's
industrialization have been the development of rural
enterprises, TVEs, in southern Jiangsu and Changelwa deltas,
as well as around the Gulf of Bohai and Guangdong. Most of
these are collectively owned or pure family businesses. An
example is a village of 920 families with 300 textile mills.
These companies can quickly adapt to changes in market
demand, and they can increase and decrease production
without major consequences for the company.