Just how many companies in China are there exactly? We’ve been asked this question a few times and decided to go and find out.
Given that China has a population of over 1.3 billion we knew that it would be a large number. Happily, answering the question proved to be easier than we thought.
Officially all companies in China must register with the AIC - from small noodle restaurants to monolithic state owned enterprises.
There are many different forms of company registration in China and it is important to understand that this figure does include sole traders (个体户 Pinyin: Gètǐhù).
We are only counting companies registered in Mainland China – Hong Kong and Taiwan have separate company registration systems.
Honestly, the fact that China has ~77 million companies didn’t surprise us.
The figures that really caught our attention were those about the rising number of companies in China, which is growing at a rate of 11.8% per year.
On average during 2015 there has been an astonishing 12,000 new companies being registered each day in China. This equates to over 4 million new companies per year!
To put that number into perspective, this is more than the entire number of companies registered in the United Kingdom, which currently stands at ~3.6 million.
The AIC defines small businesses as those with a registered capital of less than 20 million yuan.
Of the ~12,000 companies which are currently being registered on a daily basis this year, it was reported that 96.62% fit this criteria.
The company registration systems for Mainland China and Hong Kong are entirely separate so the figure above doesn’t include Hong Kong-registered companies.
In addition to the ~77 million companies registered in Mainland China, there are 1,341,223 companies registered in Hong Kong (as of December 2016)
Statistics for companies registered in Hong Kong can be easily viewed in English on the Hong Kong Companies Registry website.
Companies in Taiwan are registered by Taiwan’s Department of Commerce and numbered 675,129 when we wrote this article.
You can actually check the number of companies and the number of trademarks registered in real time on the header of the departments Chinese-language homepage.
Just look for the numbers displayed like this:
Apart from the ubiquitous sourcing b2b platform alibaba.com, do you know any of the other Alibaba ecommerce platforms?
This article gives an overview of the Alibaba ecommerce platforms, most of which are aimed squarely at China's domestic market - notably the country's largest online marketplace Taobao.
Conducting China market research can be very challenging for foreign companies, due to the shortage of reliable information available in the English language.
From researching many topics for our articles, we have however found some websites which we go back to time and again, and decided it would be a good idea to share these with our readers.
Although many factory's have their own laboratories, few of these are independently certified so requesting testing by external testing body is a wise move in many circumstances.
These testing bodies should be accredited and you can make sure of this by requesting a copy of their China laboratory accreditation certificate.