China Business Information
Population (2010 Estimate) 1.345 Billion
Provinces 22
Special Economic Zones (New Areas & SEZs) 7
Special Administrative Regions (SARs) 2
GDP (USD) 2010 5.98 Trillion
FDI (USD) 2010 105.7 Billion
USD:RMB Exchange Rate 1:6.5

Welcome to Understand China, an interactive online tool offering concise and relevant information for companies looking to do business in China, invest in the Chinese marketplace, set up greenfield operations in one of China’s industrial regions, or understand the Chinese manufacturing industry.

Start by learning about China’s overall economic and investment climate right here, in our China Manufacturing Guide, or by selecting a region or city of interest on our interactive China Manufacturing Guide Map. There you will find our regional and provincial-specific China Manufacturing Guides that will provide you with detailed information on:

-Foreign Investment & Manufacturing Information
-Logistics- Railways, Highways, Ports, Airports and other Important Shipping Information
-Employee Wage & Labor Cost Information
-Methods of Incorporating a Business in China
-Regional Investment Promotion Authorities and Incentive Programs
-Real Estate and Manufacturing Utility Information
-Consultants, Law Firms and Service Providers that assist companies doing business in China

China Manufacturing & Investment Information

The People’s Republic of China is a complex union of several types of administrative jurisdictions including 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities, two special administrative regions, and several disputed territories (primarily the Island of Taiwan.) Several areas, such as China’s municipalities and Special Administrative Regions have been given special governmental status and increased levels of autonomy.

China is a very ethno-linguistically diverse country. China’s official language is Standard Mandarin, and is the most prominent, however there are over 80 different languages and dialects from several language families spoken throughout the country. Most business is conducted in Mandarin, but other mainline languages such as Wu and Cantonese are widely used in the southern China. In addition, China’s two Special Administrative Regions, Hong Kong and Macau, used to be European colonies, so they conduct business in English and Portuguese, respectively.

China’s economy is constantly growing and evolving. As a result, it is difficult to provide a definitive list of top regions for foreign investment. The economies of its provinces and cities change on a monthly basis depending on market trends and activities. Subsequently, the best region for investment is not always the largest or most developed one.

China’s economic strength is concentrated mainly in its coastal areas. The provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei, and Liaoning, and the cities of Macau, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shantou, Zhuhai, Tianjin, Qingdao, and Shanghai have benefited immensely from their coastal locations and have developed into some of China’s most prominent areas for foreign investment. Although most provinces and cities on the interior of China tend to receive less foreign investment than those on the coast, their geographic disadvantages are often offset by lower operational costs.

In general, as a way to mitigate risk newcomers to the China market should typically invest in well-developed areas. Language and cultural barriers in more remote regions can often be difficult to overcome. Cities and provinces near China’s three economic hub areas, the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou), the Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou), and the Bohai Bay (Tianjin and Beijing) tend to have more English-speaking businesspeople due to the large amount of foreign investment.

The regional overviews of China’s top 25 Chinese provinces and cities provide important investment information including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) statistics, geographic details, leading industries, and examples of large foreign companies that have invested in each region.

China & Foreign Investment

China is quickly becoming one of the world’s largest economic powers.  Since its opening and restructuring in the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping, China has attracted foreign investment from nations across the globe.  In 2010, China generated a GDP of USD 5.98 trillion (second in the world), and utilized USD 105.7 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  The continued growth and opening of China’s marketplace will lend itself to additional investment opportunities in coming years as investors continue to benefit from its concentrated supply chains, low operational expenses, abundant resources, sophisticated logistics industry, tax incentives, and other advantages.

TriVista’s global consulting team provides guidance to foreign businesses operating in China. Learn More.

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