China’s government continues to limit the population growth of Beijing and Shanghai. However, the “emerging first-tier cities” are the beneficiaries of new technology as well as financial investment incentives. These incentives, coupled with a lower cost of living, are causing explosive growth in these emerging cities.
Cities Now Emerging in China
Traditionally, top-tier cities like Shanghai and Beijing were hubs and targets for foreign investors and university graduates seeking new careers. However, in the past few years, many Fortune 500 companies have steered away from the larger China cities. This trend is partly due to the ever-increasing costs associated with these major cities’ land, housing, and labor by extension. Smaller cities are able to now offer business incentives that help attract company investments and promotions in key industries. These cities are also seeing the benefits of attracting talented workers by offering subsidies in housing and entrepreneurial programs.
The incentives are working. One survey taken this year showed that out of 900,000 graduates surveyed, only 27% were looking to work in the larger, “top tier” cities. On the other hand, 40% were planning to work in smaller cities identified as fast-growing, like Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Chongqing.
Using the GDP growth rates between 2012 and 2017, below are a few interesting comparisons of the largest cities to the faster-growing cities seen as ones with the most potential.
China’s Fastest Growing Cities per increase in GDP from 2012 to 2017:
#1 Hefei, Anhui
The fastest growing city in China stands 295 miles inland from Shanghai. Hefei currently has eight core industries for China manufacturing. This includes automotive, equipment manufacturing, home appliances, chemicals, new materials, software and electronic information, biomedicine, and food processing. Hefei is a pilot city for Made in China 2025 which has resulted in significant investment in circuit and software industries. GDP increase: over 73%. The population is just shy of 8 million people.
#2 Yangzhou, Jiangsu
This city is about 171 miles North West from Shanghai. Industries here are traditionally strong in the automobile, machinery, tourism, software, and food processing industries. A hub for the software and information service industry Yangzhou, in 2017 began focusing on energy, medicine, materials, energy conservation and biotechnology. GDP increase: just under 73%. The population is 4.5 million.
#3 Shenzhen, Guangdong
Shenzhen is the only first-tier city that continues to expand along with the country leaders. Featured industries include high tech and new technologies; cultural and creative industries; finance, and logistics. Shenzhen is just over 10.5 miles north of Hong Kong, in Mainland China. GDP increase: 72%. The population is 12.5 million.
#4 Chengdu, Sichuan
This city is located deep in the interior of mainland China. Chengdu is considered the logistics hub of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Chengdu was chosen as the most attractive, emerging first-tier city for its commercial resources, urban placidity, and vitality of its residents. Chengdu’s focus is on green industry, digital intelligence, creative, and mobile. GDP increase: 70.7%. Population is 16 million.
#5 Nantong, Jiangsu
Located near the east coast of China on the Yangtze River Delta, Nantong has been known for high-end textiles and electronic information as well as marine engineering. Nantong will now also focus on developing industries such as intelligent equipment, new materials, new energy and new energy vehicles. GDP increase: 69.7%. The population is also 16 million.
Benefits of Manufacturing in China
As the Chinese government continues to limit the growth of China’s largest cities, the smaller “emerging first-tier” cities with their lower cost of living, as well as business and investment incentives, are attracting the newest residents. Ultimately, this results in the fastest growing cities in China.
If your US company is looking to benefit from many of China’s top-quality manufacturers within these fast-growing cities, connect with ITI Manufacturing. For nearly 45 years, we’ve been helping US companies connect with the right China manufacturing partner to make high-quality products. We’re confident we can help you as well. Call to speak with one of our experts toll-free at 888-574-6823 and get a free no-obligation quote.