Cultural Geography You Should Know about China
A number of trends have emerged that effect how people do business in China, for example, solid economic expansion of rural areas in China, rapid market changes and government reforms have transformed China from being a country for low-cost manufacturing to an attractive destination to carry out business transactions.
Unfortunately despite the increasing influence that China has on the world’s economy, those looking to do business in the country encounter some challenges when they set out on their journey of importing from China. Intense competition, corruption, business etiquette, language and cultural barriers all hamper small businesses succeeding in the Chinese marketplace.
Chinese business people respect cultural differences and will not expect foreigners to fully blend in with their culture. One thing you need to know is that Chinese are very pragmatic. If you have what they want, they will be willing to do business with you. One factor that is important in running a successful import business from China is developing mutual trust. Furthermore, you need to treat whoever you are dealing with respectfully.
China has 23 provinces that comprise 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities and 2 special administrative regions.
By understanding the geography of China, you’ll be able to source for suppliers that are within close proximity. This helps to save cost on freights since you will be able to arrange to have your shipments combined.
When your suppliers are within close proximity, you can just stay in one city and visit your suppliers. In fact, some suppliers can save you the stress of figuring out the Chinese bus system by picking you up with a private vehicle.
Different industries are found in specific regions in China. A lot of knowledge trading, vendor sharing and competition exist in regions that specialize in particular products.
Top Exporting Provinces in China: Guandong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Shandong.
Three Major Importing Regions in China: Bohai Economic Rim, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta.
Top Exporting Provinces in China
1.Guangdong(Pearl River Delta)
Guangdong’s economy can be compared to that of many countries in 2014 with a gross domestic product (GDP) of about $1104.05 million. This province has been the largest province by GDP since 1989 in Mainland China. When compared with country subdivisions in dollar terms, its GDP is larger than of all except country subdivisions namely: England, California, Texas, New York and Tokyo.
Main industries: Electronic information industry, electrical machinery and special equipment, petroleum and chemistry, building materials, textiles and clothing, food and beverage, forest industry paper, medicine, car and motorcycle
2.Jiangsu(Yangtze River Delta)
Jiangsu has the highest GDP per capita when compared with all Chinese provinces. It has an extensive irrigation system that supports its agricultural practice that’s based on rice, wheat, maize and sorghum. It also deals in cash crops such as cotton, soybeans, rapeseed, hemp, peanuts, and tea. The province has coal, petroleum and natural gas deposits.
Main industries: New energy, new materials, biotechnology and medicine, energy conservation and environmental protection, steel, chemicals, textiles, software and service outsourcing
3.Shanghai(Yangtze River Delta)
This municipality is the commercial and financial center of mainland China. It ranks 16th in the 2016 edition of the Global Financial Centers Index that was published by the Z/YenGroup and Qatar Financial Centre Authority.
In 2013, the municipality launched China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone created a preferential environment for foreign investment.
Main industries: Information industry, financial industry, commerce and trade circulation, automobile manufacturing, complete equipment manufacturing, real estate, biomedical manufacturing, fine steel manufacturing, petrochemical and fine chemical manufacturing
4.Zhejiang(Yangtze River Delta)
Zhejiang is traditionally referred to as the “Land of Fish and Rice.” Its main crop is rice, followed by wheat. The major cash crops in this province include jute, cotton and tea. The towns in the province are reputed for handicraft production of silk. Main industries: Food manufacturing and tobacco processing industry, paper printing and cultural and educational supplies manufacturing, general purpose equipment manufacturing, chemical industry, metal smelting and rolling processing industry, metal products industry, textile industry, electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing, communication equipment, computers and other electronic equipment manufacturing
5.Shandong(Bohai Economic Rim)
Shandong is the largest exporter of agricultural products in China. Its economic development focuses on large enterprises that have known brand names. The province produces cotton, wheat, sorghum, maize and precious metals such as gold and diamonds. It also has one of the biggest deposits of sapphire in the world. It has an extensive deposit of petroleum. The province also produces bromine from underground wells and salt from sea water.
Main industries: Energy, chemical, metallurgy, building materials, machinery, textiles, food
Major Importing Regions Of China
- Bohai Economic Rim (Tianjin Port, Dalian Port, Qingdao Port)
This region surrounds Beijing and Tianjin. It includes other areas in Hebei, Liaoning and Shandong that surrounds the Bohai Sea. The region has experienced major changes in economic and infrastructures.
Bohai Economic Rim is involved in heavy industries and manufacturing. Tianjin is involved in aviation, logistics and shipping. In addition to these industries, Beijing also specializes in petrochemical, education and R&D industries.
Petroleum and natural gas deposits have been discovered in BoHai in recent decades.
- Yangtze River Delta(Shanghai Port, Ningbo Port)
Yangtze River Delta is also known as Yangtze Delta, YRD, Yangzi Jiang Delta, Changjiang Delta, River Chang Delta, Lake Tai Region or the Golden Triangle of the Yangtze. It comprises Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province and northern Zhejiang province of China. This region has over 140 million people. The region produces grain, cotton, tea and hemp due to its fertile soil.
- PearlRiver delta (Guangzhou Port, Shenzhen Port)
Pearl River Delta (PRD) surrounds Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea. It is the economic hub of China and often referred to as an emerging megacity. The nine largest cities of the region had a total population of 57.15 million at the end of 2013. This is about 53.69% of the provincial population.
PRD is the world’s workshop as well as a major manufacturing hub for electronic products, textiles, toys, garments and plastic products. The region accounts for about 33.3% of China’s trade value. Private-owned enterprises are playing a key role in the region’s economic growth.