A Brief Introduction of China for Better Understanding of Doing Business with Chinese

China introduction

When we are doing business with Chinese suppliers, it’s better to know more about China, such as basic information about the population, and the general economic and commercial conditions. We will discuss very briefly of China to let you a general idea of China, there are specific articles in our blog posts such as industrial clusters to get detailed information.

1. Geographical Overview

China is located in the east of Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. The total land area is about 9.6 million square kilometers, and the total sea area is about 4.73 million square kilometers. The length of China’s land border is about 22,000 kilometers, and the length of the mainland coastline is about 18,000 kilometers. There are 7,600 large and small islands distributed in the sea area, and Taiwan Island is the largest with an area of 35,759 square kilometers. At present, China has 34 provincial-level administrative regions, including 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government, and 2 special administrative regions, they are Hong Kong and Macao. Beijing is the capital of China.

2. Population Profile

According to the results of the seventh national census, the basic situation of my country’s population at 0:00 on November 1, 2020, is announced as follows:

2.1 Total population

The total population of the country is 1443497378 people, of which:

The population of 31 provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, and active servicemen registered in the census totaled 1411778724 people;

The population of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is 7,474,200;

The population of the Macao Special Administrative Region is 683,218;

The population of Taiwan is 23,561,236.

2.2 Regional Population

Among the 31 provinces, there are 2 provinces with a population of more than 100 million, 9 provinces with a population of between 50 million and 100 million, and 17 provinces with a population of between 10 million and 50 million. There are 3 provinces with 10 million people. Among them, the total population of the top five provinces accounted for 35.09% of the national population.

In terms of regions, the population of the eastern region is 563717119, accounting for 39.93%; the population of the central region is 364694362, accounting for 25.83%; the population of the western region is 382852295, accounting for 27.12%; the population of the northeastern region is 98514948, accounting for 6.98%.

2.3 National Population Gender Composition

Among the national population[2], the male population is 723,339,956, accounting for 51.24%; the female population is 688,438,768, accounting for 48.76%. The sex ratio of the total population (female as 100, the ratio of men to women) is 105.07, which is basically the same as the sixth national census in 2010.

3. Big Cities and International Business

There are four first-tier cities in China, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. These cities not only have a large resident population but also have a relatively developed and active economy. The permanent population of Beijing and Shanghai exceeds 20 million, and the permanent population of Guangzhou and Shenzhen exceeds 16 million.

As the capital, Beijing is the political and cultural center of China. Shanghai is a municipality directly under the Central Government with well-developed finance, industry, and commerce. Shenzhen is a special economic zone adjacent to Hong Kong. It is the fastest-growing city since China’s reform and opening up. Shenzhen is a young city and a city of immigrants. It has attracted people from all over the country to develop, and the technology, finance, and economy are developed. Guangzhou is a commercial capital with a long history. The famous Canton Fair is held in Guangzhou. Guangzhou is also an ancient city with a long history. There are various professional wholesale markets in Guangzhou, which attract businessmen from home and abroad.

Other cities in China, such as Hangzhou, Wuhan, Suzhou, Chongqing, and Chengdu, are all large cities with a population of over 10 million.
On the whole, China’s coastal cities are more economically developed, with populations mainly concentrated in the east, while the west has a vast territory and a small population, and its economy is not as developed as the eastern coastal areas. The foreign trade of the coastal provinces is active. Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Shandong are all major economic and foreign trade provinces.

Guangdong Province is the province with the largest foreign trade export volume, among which Shenzhen has been the first in the country’s export volume for 30 consecutive years. If you are often engaged in import business from China, you must often encounter suppliers from Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Foshan, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Shantou, all of which are cities in Guangdong Province. In addition, the export volume of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shandong provinces and Shanghai followed closely behind that of Guangdong. Cities like Suzhou, Yiwu, Ningbo, Qingdao, and Jiaxing are all cities with developed export trade.

4. Administrative division

According to the Chinese Constitution, the administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China are divided as follows:

A. The whole country is divided into provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government;

B. Provinces and autonomous regions are divided into autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties, and cities;

C. Counties and autonomous counties are divided into townships, ethnic townships, and towns.

Municipalities are directly under the Central Government and larger cities are divided into districts and counties. Autonomous prefectures are divided into counties, autonomous counties, and cities.

Autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures, and autonomous counties are all ethnic autonomous areas. The state may establish special administrative regions when necessary. The systems to be practiced in special administrative regions shall be stipulated by laws enacted by the National People’s Congress in accordance with the specific circumstances.

At present, China has 34 provincial-level administrative regions, including 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government, and 2 special administrative regions. Historically and customarily, each provincial-level administrative region has an abbreviation. The seat of the provincial people’s government is called the provincial capital (capital), and the seat of the central people’s government is the capital. Beijing is the capital of China.

The Chinese Constitution stipulates that there are three levels of administrative divisions: province (autonomous region, municipality directly under the central government), county (autonomous county, city), and township (town, street). Townships and streets are the basic administrative units in China. Autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures, and autonomous counties are ethnic autonomous areas in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, and they are all inalienable parts of the motherland. The state may establish special administrative regions as needed. In addition, in order to facilitate administrative management and economic construction and strengthen national unity, the state may make necessary adjustments and changes to administrative divisions as needed.

Hong Kong and Macau are part of Chinese territory. The Chinese government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, and established the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. On December 20, 1999, the exercise of sovereignty over Macau was resumed and the Macau Special Administrative Region was established.

5. Public holidays in China

5.1 Chinese New Year Festival is also known as Spring Festival

Chinese New Year Festival is the biggest holiday in China, during the holiday period, people will get rest and gather with family. Although the official holiday time is only 3 days starting from the Chinese lunar calendar 1st to the 3rd of January, most Chinese will take a week to 2 weeks’ rest, therefore, this will affect shipments of export, buyers need to make a good purchase plan considering the impact during the holiday, it’s better to discuss with the suppliers to make sure the shipments will not be delayed.

5.2 Qingming Festival

Qingming Festival is one of the important traditional festivals in China, is the ancestral and tomb-sweeping festival of remembrance of deceased relatives, but also the most important Chinese people’s family plot, the official holiday time is the day of the Qingming Festival. Qingming Festival usually falls in the first week of April.

5.3 Dragon Boat Festival

The fifth day of the fifth month of the calendar is the traditional Chinese folk festival – the Dragon Boat Festival, which is one of the ancient traditional festivals of the Chinese nation, in southern China, the Dragon Boat Festival this day will generally have dragon boat racing activities. People will eat zongzi at the Dragon Boat Festival, and the official holiday time is 1 day.

5.4 Mid-Autumn Festival

The traditional Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar every year. The moon on the 15th of August is fuller and brighter than the full moons of other months. On this night, people look up at the bright moon in the sky like a jade disk and naturally look forward to the family reunion. People who are far away from home also take this opportunity to express their longing for their hometowns and relatives. Therefore, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the “Reunion Festival”. People eat moon cakes during Mid-Autumn Festival and the official holiday is one day.

5.5 National Day

China’s National Day is October 1, the official holiday period is October 1 to 3, and may be rescheduled on Saturdays and Sundays, so sometimes the National Day has 5 or even 7 days.

We have discussed the geography, population, administrative division, big cities, and holidays in China, these are general information that we should know when communicating with Chinese suppliers, it’s useful for us to do business in practice.

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