Factories in Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities of the People’s Republic of China. Shanghai’s economy is comparable to the Polish GDP. As one of China’s gateways to the world, this metropolis has a well-developed production base. Read further to find out the types of factories in Shanghai.

China’s municipality Shanghai

Shanghai is on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, at the center of China’s wealthiest per capita region. It is located in the center of the huge production basin of Shanghai-Southeast Jiangsu-Northeast Zhejiang (沪宁杭工业基地). In 2013, China’s first free trade zone was established in Shanghai, and the region’s economic development sped up. Currently, the zone generates a quarter of Shanghai’s GDP and is responsible for 40% of China’s trade in goods. The city itself is described as a global financial and innovation center.

Shanghai is the largest region of China in terms of population (over 24 million on around 6,000 km2). The Huangpu River separates the municipality into the east section Pudong and the west section Puxi (16 districts in total).

As one of the main industrial centers of China, Shanghai plays a key role in domestic production, including heavy industry. However, it is believed that the light industry was the first to develop in Shanghai. Already in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the textile industry, especially silk, was highly developed. By the 1990s, the following industries had developed:

  • food
  • chemical products
  • stationery and stationery
  • bicycles and their parts
  • glassware
  • clocks
  • photography equipment
  • and other products.

Shanghai’s key industries are:

  • digital
  • automotive
  • oil and gas, chemical
  • iron and steel
  • equipment
  • semiconductors
  • biomedical.

Shanghai’s most popular export products are electrical and electronic devices, vehicles, and machinery (almost 70% of export value), mainly cars, mobile phones, laptops, semiconductors, and batteries.

Factories in Shanghai map

How to ship goods from Shanghai?

Goods from Shanghai can be transported via air, sea, rail, and road.

  • The most common way is to ship goods by sea. It is the cheapest method but also the most time-consuming. The largest port in the world is the Port of Shanghai.
  • Airfreight enables goods to be transported from China to Europe in a noticeably short time. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive method of transport. The third biggest airport in terms of tons of cargo is Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG/ZSPD).
  • Multimodal transport means transport using two or more modes of transportation. In the case of the Shanghai-Europe route, you can send cargo from Shanghai to Suzhou by road and from there by freight train to Małaszewicze.

Check how to ship from China to the US, Tukey, Australia, and more!

Port of Shanghai and Pudong Airport

Factories in Shanghai – manufacturing firms

Steel from Baoshan

The Baoshan (宝山) District has been developing the iron and steel industry since the 1970s. Today, it is home to the Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation, the third-largest steel producer in the world. The company supplies products to household appliances, vehicles, and container manufacturers all around the world.

Shipbuilding is closely related to the iron and steel industry. The Jiangnan shipyard in Baoshan is thought to be the Chinese cradle of shipbuilding. To this day, mega containerships, research, and naval vessels are built at Jiangnan and Hudong Zhonghua shipyards.

In addition, Baoshan is one of the production areas for everyday use items, eyeglasses, and accessories.

Chemicals from Jinshan

Jinshan (金山) District is dominated by the chemical industry. Jinshan’s Shanghai Petrochemical is the largest enterprise in the Chinese chemical industry. The company produces ethylene, fibers, resin, and plastics.

Automobiles from Shanghai

Many car companies manufacture vehicles in Shanghai. SAIC-GM (the third largest automotive corporation, partner of Volkswagen and General Motors) has production and assembly plants in Anting (安亭) in Jiading (嘉定) District. It is a leader in alternative fuel vehicle production (45.5%). In Pudong (New Area) (浦东新), there is a Tesla plant called Gigafactory; this district generates 35% of Shanghai’s automotive production output. Another large automotive corporation SMA (Shanghai Maple Automobile), produces in the Jinshan District.

Tesla Gigafactory
Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai, source: auto.sina.cn/jishu/2021-04-26/detail-ikmxzfmk8853593.d.html

Industries in Minhang

The largest dairy factory in the world, owned by Bright Food, is located in Minhang (闵行). In addition, the district generates 20% of production in the new energy industry and as much as 41% in the energy saving and environmental protection industry. Moreover, there is a production base for everyday-use items in Minhang.

AI from Xuhui

Xuhui (徐汇) is a small district located in the center of Shanghai. Xuhui’s artificial intelligence companies generate 30% of the city’s total industrial output. It is estimated that by 2025, this district will reach 100 million yuan in the AI industry.

Apparel from Shanghai

The textile industry in Shanghai has been transformed so that manufacturers have easy access to raw materials, zippers, buttons, etc. One of the largest clothing manufacturers in Shanghai is Yotex Apparel in Anting, known for its sportswear.

Electronics from Shanghai – Pudong New Area District

Shanghai is a consumer electronics manufacturing base, as there are many telephones, radios, cameras, etc. production plants. Some Apple phones are manufactured at the Qualcomm factory in Shanghai. Pudong (Xin), the most industrially developed district of the city, produces over 60% of electronics in Shanghai (70% of multi-purpose vehicles, 40% of robotic products, and 90% of smartphones in the city). Pudong is China’s semiconductor production base. There is also a cluster of manufacturers of instrumentation and stationery.

Industries in Fengxian

China’s largest stationery manufacturer, M&G Chenguang Stationery Co. Ltd., is located in Fengxian (奉贤). In addition, there are many manufacturers in Fengxian of:

  • everyday use items
  • consumer electronics
  • instrumentation
  • environmental technology
  • various types of machinery and equipment.

Factories in Shanghai – to sum up

Even though the tertiary sector is the largest one in Shanghai, trade in goods grows year after year. The production output in industries such as automotive, machine, as well as equipment is increasing rapidly. Industrial innovation contributes to Shanghai’s economic development. In addition, Shanghai produces a variety of everyday-use items, such as glassware, stationery, and chemicals.

See our articles on importing from China:

Importing steel from China

Importing electronics from China to the US

Importing electronics from China to the EU

Importing machinery from China to the EU