Overview In 2021, China was the number 2 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 1 in total exports, the number 2 in total imports, the number 75 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 25 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) .

Exports The top exports of China are Broadcasting Equipment ($231B), Computers ($192B), Integrated Circuits ($158B), Office Machine Parts ($101B), and Telephones ($53.9B), exporting mostly to United States ($530B), Hong Kong ($323B), Japan ($168B), South Korea ($140B), and Germany ($134B).

In 2021, China was the world's biggest exporter of Broadcasting Equipment ($231B), Computers ($192B), Office Machine Parts ($101B), Telephones ($53.9B), and Semiconductor Devices ($49.2B)

Imports The top imports of China are Crude Petroleum ($208B), Integrated Circuits ($171B), Iron Ore ($146B), Petroleum Gas ($56.6B), and Copper Ore ($52.4B), importing mostly from South Korea ($158B), Japan ($153B), United States ($151B), Australia ($138B), and Chinese Taipei ($126B).

In 2021, China was the world's biggest importer of Crude Petroleum ($208B), Iron Ore ($146B), Petroleum Gas ($56.6B), Copper Ore ($52.4B), and Soybeans ($44.2B)

Location China borders North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau by land and Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Philippines by sea.

Latest Trends

December, 2023

Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Top Export (2021)Broadcasting Equipment$231B
Top Destination (2021)United States$530B

In 2021, China exported a total of $3.34T, making it the number 1 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of China have changed by $1.12T from $2.22T in 2016 to $3.34T in 2021.

The most recent exports are led by Broadcasting Equipment ($231B), Computers ($192B), Integrated Circuits ($158B), Office Machine Parts ($101B), and Telephones ($53.9B). The most common destination for the exports of China are United States ($530B), Hong Kong ($323B), Japan ($168B), South Korea ($140B), and Germany ($134B).

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Exports (2021)
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Destinations (2021)
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Market Growth

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2020 - 2021)
United States$92.3B (+ 21.1%)
Hong Kong$63.6B (+ 24.5%)
South Korea$30.9B (+ 28.3%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2020 - 2021)
Australia$35.4B (+ 34.4%)
United States$28.5B (+ 23.3%)
South Korea$26.3B (+ 20%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2020 - 2021)

Service Trade

Service Trade

China Exports Services (2020)$208B
China Imports Services (2020)$378B

In 2020, China exported $208B worth of services. The top services exported by China in 2020 were Other business services ($69.8B), Transportation ($56.7B), Computer and information services ($39B), Construction services ($12.6B), and Travel ($9.95B).

The top services imported by China in 2020 were Travel ($131B), Transportation ($94.7B), Other business services ($50.3B), Royalties and license fees ($37.9B), and Computer and information services ($32.6B).

Service Exports (2020)

Service Imports (2020)

Economic Complexity


Economic Complexity (Trade)1.07Rank 25 of 131
Economic Complexity (Technology)0.81Rank 29 of 96
Economic Complexity (Research)-0.057Rank 64 of 140

Comparison Map


This section shows exports, imports and economic complexity data at the subnational level for China. Click any of the Subnational Level in the geomap to visit the specific subnational profile.

The top territories of China according to its Economic Complexity Index are Chongqing (0.37), Shanghai Province (0.37), and Jiangsu Province (0.36).

The principal exporters of China were Guangdong Province ($777B), Zhejiang Province ($503B), and Jiangsu Province ($482B).

The same year,  the principal importers of China were Beijing ($435B), Guangdong Province ($408B), and Shanghai Province ($352B).

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Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

China has a high level of specialization in Artificial Vegetation (5.68), Party Decorations (5.45), Vacuum Flask (5.07), Umbrellas (5.01), and Combs (4.99). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between China observed and expected exports in each product.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for China according to the relatedness index, were Jute Woven Fabric (0.57), Jute Yarn (0.56), Patent Leather (0.55), Copper Foil (0.54), and Prepared Pigments (0.53). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that China is not specialized in.

Product Space

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

This network shows the products most related to the production structure of China. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that China exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier


The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower greenhouse emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking


During the last 20 years China's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively more complex, moving from the ⁩⁨53rd to the 25th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

Explore Rankings

ECI (Trade) Ranking by Country

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