Nevertheless, China continues to prove its diversity in international trade markets by supplying a wide range of daily use items including lamps, handbags, women’s clothing and even hair dryers.
The following list shows which Chinese exports generated the most money from sales during 2016. Unlike most information currently available on the web, the items below are detailed at the 4-digit tariff code level.
This level of granularity can help entrepreneurs identify precisely which products in which China has strong competitive advantages over other nations.
Having many competitive advantages, like low labor costs and rich resources, is a major reason why China is the world’s number one exporter.
Highest Value Chinese Export Products
Below are the 20 highest value Chinese export products shipped from the People’s Republic in 2016. Shown within brackets for each item is the percentage change in value from 2009 to 2016.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$201.6 billion (up 133.2% since 2009)
- Computers, optical readers: $125 billion (up 23%)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $62.3 billion (up 163.9%)
- Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs: $31.1 billion (up 311.8%)
- Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools: $28.8 billion (up 41.8%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $28.4 billion (up 146.5%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $28.3 billion (up 6.1%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $26.9 billion (up 74%)
- Miscellaneous furniture: $26.4 billion (up 93.2%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $25.9 billion (down -1.2%)
- Cases, handbags, wallets: $25.6 billion (up 99.9%)
- Women’s clothing (not knit or crochet): $25.2 billion (up 91.7%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $24.5 billion (up 66.6%)
- Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): $22.1 billion (up 89.6%)
- Footwear (rubber or plastic): $21.7 billion (up 96.3%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $21 billion (up 126.9%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $19.4 billion (up 54.3%)
- Printing machinery: $18.8 billion (up 10.3%)
- Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys: $18.5 billion (up 137.6%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $18.4 billion (up 75.3%)
Lamps, lighting and illuminated signs posted the greatest increase from 2009 to 2016, up 311.8% in value.
In second place were integrated circuits and microassemblies — a category that gained 163.9%.
Another fast-growing product category was automotive parts or accessories, up in global sales by 146.5%.
Computer parts and accessories was the sole decliner, down -1.2% in value from 2009 to 2016.
See also China’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Top Chinese Trade Balances, China’s Top 10 Exports, China’s Top 10 Imports and Highest Value Chinese Import Products
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 31, 2017
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 31, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 31, 2017