How to import from China: 10 Key Industries Clusters that You Must Know
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How to import from China: 10 Key Industries that You Need to Know

You’re ready to start importing from China, right? But here’s the problem- you don’t know the right location that you can import your goods from. This challenge always comes up due to the vast number of suppliers in China offering a wide range of goods. Don’t worry, we will get that fixed in this article.

Finding suppliers in the right location can help you due to the following reasons:

  • Production cost advantage.
  • More Substitute suppliers.
  • ​Reduction in the mainland transportation charges.
  • Saving visit time from different suppliers. Etc.

In this article, we will shed light on the key industries that you can import from in China. But before we get started you might need to read the basic geography of China so that you can better understand the places that will be covered in this article.



China is not only the world’s leading manufacturer of glasses. It is also the largest potential consumer. The manufacturer and wholesaler of glasses in China concentrate in geographical distribution and are majorly found in Dongguan and Shenzhen of Guangdong, Xiamen of Fujian, Wenzhou of Zhejiang and Danyang of Jiangsu. Shenzhen is for high end market and comprises majority of huge brand OEM factories.

As improvement is experienced in living standards, much attention will be attached to the health and protection of eyes when selecting glasses. Apart from practical functions, consumer also pays attention to ornamental qualities. As consumers become more aware of mid-range spectacle brands, their sales may exceed those of up market ones.

Custom-made glasses are designed to satisfy the varying needs of consumers. To meet these needs, glasses are made in different shapes to portray personal style or to align with the user’s facial contour. The glasses made in China include the following groups:

  • Contact Glasses

Due to the increasing need of consumers to be convenient and hygienic, the demand for contact lenses keeps increasing. It is expected that the sales for this group of glasses will attain a higher growth rate than those of traditional glasses.

  • Presbyopic Glasses

Due to the study that revealed that most middle-aged people start wearing presbyopic glasses at the age of 42, the market potential for these kinds of glasses should not be underestimated. These forms of glasses can deal with astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia and presbyopia, thereby saving elderly persons from the burden of carrying different glasses. Multifocal presbyopia glasses are widely used in America and Europe. More Chinese are expected to wear these glasses as the standard of living improves.

  • Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect the eyes from ultraviolet eyes. They are used in outdoor sports and on vacation. The demand for these glasses keeps increasing because people use them as fashion accessories to portray their personal image. There’s also the demand for kids’ sunglasses and myopic sunglasses.

  • Children Glasses

As parents become increasingly ready to get a pair of glasses for their kids, children become the target for glasses. Also, due to the widespread of technology, almost 67% of children aged between 0-6 years in China start coming in contact with electronic products when they are 4 years’ old. As a result, kids nowadays are more exposed to the blue light produced from hand-held devices. Glasses with blue-blocking capabilities are hugely demanded by parents since their children’s eyes are not fully developed.

#2.Children Wear

Children wear

The total of retail sales obtained from children’s clothing is about RMB 130.3 billion in 2014. This figure is expected to reach about RMB 194.1 billion by 2018. The demand for children’s wear is more prominent in China than other countries.

Although the demand for children’s wear keeps expanding, China’s children wear industry is still at its infancy stage. It has a low industry concentration degree. Also, the domestic and international clothing brands increase the layout in children’s wear.

The major industry areas you can importing from China are located in Ji Mo, Shandong Province and Zhili, Zhejiang Province.

#3.Men's Clothing

Men Clothing 

The demand for men’s clothing is currently undergoing growth. It was reported that the retail sales of China’s men clothing’s was over RMB 630 billion in 2015.

As the spending power of male consumers keep increasing, their requirement for outfits appears presentable. China has already become an important market for international high-end men’s clothing. Today, the men’s clothing market is equally divided among Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong.

The men’s clothing industry keeps increasing globally and the audience is becoming more diverse. Consumers are more willing to spend on quality and this increases the average purchase value. This market was previously concentrated around historical brands and experienced steady growth from the 90s.


Zhe Jiang Datang socks

The best place buy socks are Datang (Zhejiang Province). It produces about 65% of the socks in China and controls about 1/3 of the world production of socks. It began manufacturing socks in the 1980’s. The town experienced a rapid development over the following decade. The town of Datang started with just 1,000 residents and became the world’s capital of socks. The town, currently having a population of 60 thousand, produces 8 billion of socks every year.

The sock industry been in Datang is respective of the economic model in Zhejiang Province. The entire sock district in Datang had more than 100 thousand sock machines in 2006, with an annual production of 20 billion pairs of socks and annual revenue of 28 billion Yuan. A complete innovation system has been established for the sock industry by Datang. The town keeps fulfilling its ambition to make stir in the international market as it keeps fulfilling its ambition.

#5.Car Accessories

Tiantai car accessories

The car accessories industry in China has been the largest in the world as revealed by automobile unit production since 2008. The annual production of car accessories in China (since 2009) exceeds that of the European Union or the combined production volume of United States and Japan. China’s home market provides the manufacturers a solid base.

The industry had mainly Soviet origins with small volume for the first 30 years of the republic without exceeding 100 to 200 thousand per year. There has been a rapid increase since the early 1990s. After China entered into the World Trade Organization in 2001, there was a further acceleration in the development of the automobile industry.

The major industry areas you can importing from China are located in Tiantai, Zhejiang Province.

#6.Shoes and Boots

Wenzhou Shoes and boots

Domestically-made shoe products are the major force in the mainland footwear market. There are a total of four major footwear industry clusters in China. These are located in the southeast coastal regions.

The first footwear industry base is Guangdong led by Guangzhou and Dongguan having medium to high-end shoes as their main products. The second is the Zhejiang footwear industry base. It is led by Wenzhou and Taizhou, which are mainly into the production of medium to low-end men’s shoes.

The third footwear industry cluster is the western region footwear industry base which is led by Chengdu and Chongqing, and primarily produces low-end women’s shoes. The fourth footwear industry base is led by Quanzhou and Jinjiang in Fujian. The base produces sports shoes.

The major consumers for leather shoes are office workers. Manufacturers are currently placing more emphasis on the design and styles of leather shoes. Both male and female consumers have different ideas when it comes to purchasing shoes. Men focus more on traditional designs while women are more interested in trendiness. On the average, the number of shoes owned by female consumers is more that than owned by males.

Sports shoes can be recognized as general sports shoes, professional training shops and professional sports shoes based on their performance. The commonest types include sneakers, travelling shoes, tennis shoes, football shoes, basketball shoes, skating shoes, hiking shoes, skateboard shoes and air sports shoes.

Due to the increasing popularity of sporting events, the awareness of consumers about fitness keeps increasing. Thus, sports consumption has formed a key part of consumers’ spending. Out of all the items, sports shoes have the strongest brand effect. Apart from popular brands like Nike, Adidas and Li Ning, domestic brands such as 361 Degrees, Peak, Anta, CAN•TORP and XTep have been experiencing continuous growth and development, most especially in the second- and third-tier cities.


Huadu Bags

Shiling (Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province) is the largest center for the production of leather goods as well as the sales of leather-related products you can importing from China. About 120,000 thousand people are employed by the leather industry.

Right from the 1970s, the central government promoted industrial development of Shiling placed lots of attention on the leather work industry. The activities in the industry are carried out in factories and by piecework in homes and this could be integrated into the lifestyles of the farming community. Shiling manufactures low and medium quality leather goods for both Chinese and the international markets. In order to make and market high-end leather products, the local business leaders are continuously improving their activity to make high-end leather goods.

In order to improve the quality of leather-related products produced in China, a leather training institute was developed to train farmers in the art of leather trade. The Shiling leather industry was worth 4.7 billion Yuan and 9 billion Yuan in 2002 and 2009 respectively.

#8.Home Textile

Dieshiqiao Home Textile

Home textiles (also referred to as decorative textiles), clothing textiles and industrial textiles constitute the three major industries that constitute the textile industry in China. Home textiles are used in houses as well as public places.

They can be divided into kitchen supplies, bedding, bathroom accessories and living room accessories base on where they are used.

China has 5 home textile industrial cluster areas. These include Guangdong Province, Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province and Shandong Province. These cluster areas have successfully found their features to become a strong home textile industry chain.

As at the end of 2015, there were about 2,000 home textile industries and grossed annual sales revenue that was below CNY 20 million. There were low concentration of industries and fierce competition in China home textile industry.

#9.Home Appliances

Shunde home appliances

The growth of the home appliances industry in China has been attributed to the price reduction of raw materials as well as the effective corporate transformations and upgrades. The export value of the Chinese home appliance industry was 56 billion RMB in 2015.

The combined market value of the home appliance online retailers in China also hit a new high in 2015 to about 300.7 billion RMB. Out of the total market value, large-sized home appliances, made up of LCD TVs, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators, had about 86.2 billion RMB, which accounted for 29% of the total market value.

The major industry area you can importing from China is located in Shunde, Foshan city, Guangdong Province.

#10.Chinese Toy

Chenghai toys

Recently, China is being recognized as the world’s largest producer of toys. China houses over 1300 large scale manufacturers of toys. This figure accounts for producing about three-quarters of the total toys produced in the world.

The major toy export bases in China are found in southern provinces and coastal cities comprising Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian amongst others. Out of these areas, Guangdong and Fujian bases specialize in electronic and plastic toys, Jiangsu and Shanghai deal in stuffed toys while Zhejiang specializes in wooden toys.

Although the toys industry experienced a slightly slow pace in 2012, the exportation of these products yielded 11.45 billion USD. This was 5.8% higher than what was recorded in 2011. China’s toy industry recorded an output value of about CNY 130.764 billion in 2013, leading to 15.72% increase compared to what was recorded in 2012. The main business revenue was CNY 166.44 billion and had accumulative year-on-year increases of 14.3%.

These high figures were obtained as a result of taking advantage of the relatively cheap raw materials and labor cost. This explains the features of toys exported from China as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) focused lack of very creative products as well as the reduction of the profit of export cost.


I believe this article has enabled you to have a better understanding of the key industries in China from which you can import your goods. Feel free to ask your questions or drop your contributions in the comment section below. I love hearing from you.

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