China's industrial economy makes solid progress in 2023
Updated: January 19, 2024 20:02 Xinhua

BEIJING, Jan. 19 -- China's industrial economy made sound progress last year, with multiple areas including the automotive sector and 5G technology recording notable development.

In 2023, China remained the world's top manufacturing hub, achieving this feat for the 14th consecutive year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Friday.

The country's large manufacturing enterprises, each of which has an annual main business turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars), saw their combined value-added output increase 5 percent year on year in 2023, said Xin Guobin, vice minister of the MIIT, at a press conference.

The total value-added industrial output of large enterprises went up 4.6 percent year on year in 2023, an increase of 1 percentage point compared with 2022, Xin said.

By the end of November last year, the number of large industrial enterprises in the country had reached 483,000, up by 32,000 from the number recorded at the end of 2022, he added.

Specifically, the electrical machinery and equipment and automotive industries managed double-digit growth last year, while sectors such as iron and steel, non-ferrous metal ores mining and petrochemicals saw accelerated recovery.

China's booming automotive sector, one of the country's important pillar industries, logged massive growth, set multiple historic records and made great contributions to the steady development momentum of China's economy last year.

China's auto exports surged 57.9 percent year on year to a record high of 4.91 million vehicles in 2023, and China is expected to become the world's No. 1 auto exporter, said Xin.

This growth was propelled by a surge in the exports of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which soared 77.6 percent to more than 1.2 million units last year.

Total auto sales increased by 12 percent year on year to top 30.09 million units in 2023, while output was in excess of 30.16 million units, up 11.6 percent compared with the 2022 level.

In 2023, production and sales of NEVs exceeded 9.58 million and 9.49 million units, surging 35.8 percent and 37.9 percent year on year, respectively. The market share of NEV sales in the year stood at 31.6 percent.

Meanwhile, China secured positive results in terms of 5G innovation and development last year, with the number of 5G base stations increasing to nearly 3.38 million, said Xin.

By the end of 2023, the country had more than 10,000 ongoing 5G-powered industrial internet projects, while 5G pilot applications were launched in key areas such as cultural tourism, medical care and education to help restore and expand consumption, he said.

The number of 5G mobile phone users in China reached 805 million by the end of last year.

According to the estimates of research institutions, 5G has helped create an economic output of 1.86 trillion yuan in 2023, an increase of 29 percent compared with the figure registered in 2022, Xin said.

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