Jewellery Market in China – Geographical Distribution
In the 1980s, there were only 10 designated enterprises for manufacture of gold jewellery. There were in addition 95 other producers of gemstone manufacturers, with a total industry manpower of 20000, annual value added of RMB 160.63 million, sales volume of less than RMB 200 million and foreign exchange earnings of US$ 16 million. As late as 1991, there were only about 100 registered enterprises dealing in gems and jewellery. In comparison, the number of registered producers increased to 2500 by the year 2000. Out of them, state-designated producers numbered 500, while processing enterprises of three varieties, namely, wholly owned foreign enterprises, cooperative joint-venture enterprises and wholly domestic, were over one thousand.
Before the 1990s, except for a small amount of processed diamond which were exported, demand in the domestic market was absent. Starting 1993, diamond processing enterprises increased in number to over 70 by the end of 2002, with a total employment of 16000, thereby accounting for one-fifth of the global diamond processing industry. With a value added of US$ 0.8 billion, China is the world’s second largest diamond processing nation, after India. There are 500 designated enterprises in gold and platinum jewellery, and 4000 gems and jadestone producers. Production enterprises under individual management exceed 20000. Manpower employed in the gold, silver, gemstone and jade production industries are in excess of 800000. If we include those engaged in individual production, this number can be as high as three million.
Processing as well as sale of jewellery in China is mainly concentrated in the three major centres of Guangdong, Shanghai and Beijing. They are three centres of China’s economic development, with maximum concentration of consumption. They also have their individual and unique background for development of gems and jewellery industry in China.
- Guangdong: Guangdong boasts of two major coastal open cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Guangzhou is the jewellery production and sales base area of the Pearl River delta. The biggest jadeite market and the famous Huahan antique jadeware market are located in Guangzhou. Panyu district of Guangzhou is the most important gems and jewellery processing centre in the country, accounting for a fifth of the production, processing and export volume of China’s gold and mounted jewellery.
- Shenzhen: Shenzen enjoys absolute advantage in China’s gems and jewellery market. Shenzhen is an important centre for manufacture and processing of gold jewellery. It is a centre for wholesale trade, information, materials trade as well as export. After the establishment of Gold Jewellery Mansion in Shenzhen, the city is emerging as the logistics centre for gold artefacts trade in China. Shenzhen is also the first Chinese pilot city for reform of administrative mechanism in gold and silver. It enjoys locational advantages of proximity to Hong Kong, one of the world’s three largest trading centres in the jewellery industry.
- Shanghai: Shanghai is the biggest city in China, with the largest volume of consumption. It is the biggest jewellery handicrafts manufacturing centre, with annual trade volume of over several billion US dollars. It is China’s biggest gold and gold jewellery consumer. Over 200 enterprises in Shanghai engaged in jewellery and diamond all occupy frontier places in China. Shanghai’s gold consumption is one-eighteenth of the entire nation, while shares of sales volume of diamond jewellery and platinum stand at 10% and 35% respectively. With the establishment of Huatong Silver Exchange Market, SDE and SGE, Shanghai has emerged as the major centre for trade in raw materials for jewellery industry.
- Beijing: Beijing is the centre of China’s politics, economy and culture. It is also an important domestic market for jewellery. There are more than 100 enterprises engaged in platinum and platinum inlaid jewellery. Consumption of diamond wedding rings in Beijing is next only to Shanghai. Retail markets abound in Beijing, though they are somewhat dispersed.
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