One of the characteristics of manufacturing in China is regional specialization (block economies that vary across provinces). One of the key Chinese provinces is Zhejiang on the east coast of China, which has various manufacturing industrial clusters. Below we present prominent industries in Zhejiang Province, China.
Zhejiang Province in China
Zhejiang is an eastern, coastal province of China. It is bordered by Shanghai to the north. Zhejiang is one of the smallest and wealthiest provinces and one of the most developed (next to the Guangdong Province in the south of China).
Zhejiang is often credited for accelerating the economic development of the People’s Republic of China. Its rapid development in the 1980s and 1990s was a model for other regions.
There are many production areas of products from various industries in Zhejiang. The clusters are in:
- Ningbo (southern economic center of the Yangtze Delta megalopolis)
Zhejiang is the most industrially diverse province in China; it ranked first in the top 100 Chinese industrial clusters. There are at least 36 industrial clusters in Zhejiang.
Zhejiang Province area is 101 square kilometers and has over 64.5 million inhabitants. Its main cities are vast; the province is divided into prefecture-level cities (11), further divided into counties or county-level cities (90). An even smaller administrative unit is a municipality (urban and rural; over 1,500 in Zhejiang).
How to ship goods from Zhejiang Province?
Goods from China are often shipped by sea. The freight (shipping cost) is lower than rail and air transportation, but the transit time is the longest. It takes several weeks to ship goods from China by sea. Read more about shipping from China to the US and shipping from China to the EU (Germany).
Products from Zhejiang Province are exported through the port of Ningbo (Ningbo-Zhoushan) and the port of Shanghai. Both ports are the largest (in terms of TEU) and the most important not only in China but also globally.
Industries in Zhejiang Province, China
Electronics from Ningbo in Zhejiang
Ningbo (宁波) is a huge sub-provincial city known as the capital of small household appliances. It has over 9 million inhabitants, and each district specializes in products from a specific sector. There are manufacturers of the following industries:
- petrochemical industry
- biological medicine
- steel and iron processing
- parts of vehicles
- textiles and clothing
- electronic devices
- and many more.
One of the most prominent cities in Ningbo is Cixi (慈溪). It is one of the most important electrical appliance manufacturing bases in China. As much as 40% of Cixi’s exports are small household appliances. We have written about production in Cixi in a previous article.
Industrial molds, such as plastic tubes, are mainly manufactured near Cixi in Yuyao (余姚).
Yinxian (鄞县) is a garment manufacturing base in Ningbo, and Fenghua (奉化) is famous for its accessories.
Commodities from Yiwu in Zhejiang
Yiwu (义乌) in a prefecture-level city Jinhua (金华) is probably the largest wholesaler in the world. Importers from all around the world source their products from Yiwu. In Yiwu distribution centers you can find:
- festive decorations
- clothes and accessories
- artificial flowers
- small household appliances
- telecommunication and electronic equipment
- stationery and alike.
Get to know wholesale markets in Yiwu!
Hardware and doors from Yongkang in Zhejiang
Yongkang (永康), also located in Jinhua, is called “the Chinese capital of hardware and doors.” Manufactures in Yongkang specialize in:
- vehicles, including electric cars and scooters
- parts of vehicles
- doors (anti-burglary and alike)
- household cleaning products
- electronic appliances and tools
- suction cups
- and more.
Read our article about doors and hardware production area in China – Yongkang.
Children’s clothing and bamboo products from Huzhou
Huzhou (湖州) is a prefecture-level city in China. Its main export products are:
- children’s and babies clothes from Zhili (直隶); we have written about importing children’s clothes from Zhili before
- best quality silk products
- products made of bamboo and swivel chairs from Anji (安吉).
Machinery, shoes, and packaging from Wenzhou
Wenzhou (温州) is a famous production area of footwear and lighters. Manufacturers in Wenzhou (especially in Lucheng 鹿城) make shoes for the domestic market and export.
- Manufacturers that make plastic bags, such as food and grocery bags, are concentrated in Longgang (龙港).
- Signage, packaging, and salty foods are mainly produced in Cangnan (苍南).
- Yongjia (永嘉) is famous for its buttons.
- For electronic components and low voltage equipment such as frequency converters and voltmeters, see manufacturers in Yueqing (乐青).
- Ouhai (瓯海) is a valves and pumps cluster.
- Automobile components for cars and other vehicles are manufactured in Rui’an (瑞安).
Plastic and rubber products from Taizhou
North of Wenzhou is Taizhou (台州), famous for its porcelain, plastic, and rubber products. Plastic chairs, boxes, and containers are made mainly of PVC, ABS, and PP. Products used daily, such as gloves, kitchen accessories, and coasters, are made of rubber. Sunglasses and eyeglass frames are also popular products from Taizhou.
- Those looking for various products made of plastic, glass, metal, wood, and other raw materials can find them in Huangyan (黄岩).
- Jiaojiang (椒江) specializes in highly processed chemicals.
- Wenling (温岭) is known for the production of motorcycle components.
- Luqiao (路桥) produces basic commodity products.
- Garden and agricultural tools are found mainly in Yuhuan (玉环).
Clothing from Hangzhou in Zhejiang
Hangzhou (杭州) is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province. It has great tourist attractions and is a major clothing distribution center. If you can find a fashion item on AliExpress, you can certainly find a similar one in wholesale markets in Hangzhou.
- However, if you are more interested in stationery (pens, markers, crayons, pencils, and alike) and steel products, check the manufacturers in Tonglu (桐庐).
- Puyuan (濮苑) is known for knitted garments, mainly wool sweaters and cardigans.
Textiles and umbrellas from Shaoxing in Zhejiang
Shaoxing (绍兴) is a textile manufacturing base. Parts of Shaoxing specialize in various textile products.
- Factories in Keqiao (柯桥) specialize in producing polyester, cotton, denim, knitted fabrics, and so on. In Keqiao, you can find, i.e., bed linen, carpets, upholstery, and curtains. 1/4 of the world’s textile exports come from Keqiao. Read more about China’s textile cluster in Keqiao.
- The manufacturing hub of umbrellas in China (traditional and modern) is Shangyu (上虞). About 500 million umbrellas are produced in Shangyu each year, accounting for 1/3 of the world’s production. In addition, Shangyu is also known for knitted accessories such as hats, gloves, and scarves.
- Shengzhou (嵊州) is known for neckties and bow ties.
- The factories specializing in hosiery products (knee-high socks, tights, leg warmers) and socks for women, men, and children are concentrated in Zhuji (诸暨). Zhuji hosiery products account for 70% of Chinese production and 1/3 of the world.
- Xinchang (新昌) produces pharmaceutical products like pills.
Industries in Zhejiang Province, China – in a nutshell
There are many benefits of manufacturing industrial clusters – optimizing the production process for example. A well-organized supply chain system increases export capacity, which is not a problem for Zhejiang Province since its goods are mainly exported via ports of Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan.
China’s policy of opening to the world accelerated the development of the Chinese market and China’s expansion into foreign markets. China is the largest producer in the world (about 28% of total world production); its manufacturing clusters differ from province to province.
The most important manufacturing areas in Zhejiang are cities such as Ningbo (small household appliances), Jinhua (tools, commodities), Wenzhou (footwear), Taizhou (porcelain, plastic, and rubber products), Hangzhou, and Shaoxing (textiles and clothing).
If you are looking for specific groups of products, you should find out in which part of China they are usually produced. Then, you can plan a business trip to the region to see the products and check the quality for yourself. Typically, if there is a manufacturing cluster, trade fairs are often organized nearby, which are a great opportunity to find new business partners. Zhejiang is a province that has a lot to offer importers.
Read our guides on importing from China: