Sourcing in Shanghai: Essential Manufacturing Information

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As the largest Chinese city by population and one of the four direct-controlled municipalities, it is no surprise that Shanghai makes its mark as a global financial center. In August 2014, Shanghai was highlighted as the "Chinese Province of the Future" for its remarkable performance in Business Friendliness and Connectivity; Economic Potential and Human Capital & Lifestyle.
Furthermore, Shanghai offers opportunities and a vast amount of resources for businesses seeking to source for suppliers and manufacturers.
Read on to find out more about Shanghai's specialized manufacturing sectors as well as tips & advice.

General Background

As of 2013, the top 3 industries in Shanghai included retail and wholesale, financial services and real estate. Shanghai is known for its niche in development of financial services, logistics and cultural industries.
However, what is often overlooked in Shanghai is its vast supplier & manufacturer resources, notably sectors involving technology, metallurgy, chemical & heavy industries and the textile industry. The six key advanced industries (including electronic information product, automobile, petrochemical, fine steel, equipment complex, bio-medicine) accounted for 67.3% of the gross industrial output in 2013. This makes it an attractive region for businesses as well.

Main Industries

Contributing to over 20% of the gross industrial output, Shanghai has made significant progress in developing its high-tech industries. It has numerous suppliers & manufacturers of computers, telecommunication equipment, and integrated circuits.
The high-tech sectors with the highest output value are electronics, computers and office equipment. Shanghai is also a leading producer of microcomputers, ICs and mobile phones.
The textile industry has been a driving force in Shanghai since time immemorial. In 2006, the textile industry exported worth $116 billion. The Chinese also distribute about 80% of these quotas based on past market share and put the rest up for bids which can be highly competitive, especially among big businesses bidding on Shanghai textile suppliers.
Shanghai hosts its very own Shanghai Fashion Week and a wide variety of Chinese garment & textile suppliers gather at the Global Sources China Sourcing Fair annually.
Heavy Industries & Metallurgy
Shanghai plays a crucial part in China's heavy industries, accounting for 78% of the gross industrial output in 2013. Baosteel Group, China's largest steelmaker, and Fosun Group, one of China's largest private steel-makers, are both located in Shanghai.
Auto Manufacturing Industry
Auto manufacture is another important industry, reflected in its contribution of close to 20% of gross industrial output. Shanghai's automobile manufacturers and suppliers are seeking to pit themselves against Japanese and Korean automobile companies by developing and promoting their very own Chinese brands as well as the auto-parts and car service industries.

Major Areas - Pudong

To the east of Shanghai lies the major city of Pudong New Area. Pudong has a bustling manufacturing and export economy encompassing the Waigaoquiao Free Trade Zone (FTZ), an attractive region for foreign investors, which has attracted over 9,300 companies. Pudong's electronics industry, concentrated mostly in the Zhangjiang High Tech Park, consists of 110 research & development institutions and over 320 companies.

Consultants in Shanghai

As sourcing for trusted and reliable suppliers can be complicated and daunting, you can engage a consultant or inspection agent in Shanghai. You can refer to this list of 11 recommended and verified inspection companies that can conduct quality checks for you so that you can make an informed choice on your supplier in Shanghai. For selection of specific electronic manufacturers, you can discover more tips here.