new ship

How China's Shipbuilding Industry Becomes the First in the World


Time:

2023-12-13

Have you ever wondered why we can see all kinds of ships at sea, from small fishing boats to large oil tankers, from speedboats to cruise ships, from warships to scientific research ships? How are these ships built? What kind of story is behind them? Today, let us learn about the development history and achievements of China's shipbuilding industry! The shipbuilding industry refers to a comprehensive industry that focuses on shipbuilding and includes marine equipment, marine materials, marine electronic instruments, marine engineering equipment and other related industries. It is an important strategic, basic and leading industry of the country, and an important manifestation of the country's comprehensive strength and international competitiveness.

Have you ever wondered why we can see all kinds of ships at sea, from small fishing boats to large oil tankers, from speedboats to cruise ships, from warships to scientific research ships? How are these ships built? What kind of story is behind them? Today, let us learn about the development history and achievements of China's shipbuilding industry!

The shipbuilding industry refers to a comprehensive industry that focuses on shipbuilding and includes marine equipment, marine materials, marine electronic instruments, marine engineering equipment and other related industries. It is an important strategic, basic and leading industry of the country, and an important manifestation of the country's comprehensive strength and international competitiveness.


China is a large maritime country with a long shipbuilding history and rich shipbuilding experience. As early as the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period, China has begun to manufacture wooden structure of the sailing and oar boats. During the Song and Yuan dynasties, China's shipbuilding technology reached the world's leading level, and Zheng he's treasure ship was the most advanced maritime giant at that time. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, China's shipbuilding technology gradually lagged behind the Western powers due to the closed-door policy. Since modern times, our country has been invaded and oppressed by imperialism, and the shipbuilding industry has been seriously damaged.

After the founding of New China, my country's shipbuilding industry has restarted. After 70 years of development, it has become the world's largest shipbuilding country and marine equipment producer, with a complete industrial chain and innovation capabilities. We can divide the development of China's shipbuilding industry into four stages:

The first stage was from 1949 to 1960, which laid the preliminary foundation of China's modern shipbuilding industry by salvaging sunken ships, building civilian ships, and with the technical assistance of the former Soviet Union. During this period, China mainly built military warships, introduced Soviet military warship manufacturing technology through the way of "transfer manufacturing", established a number of key shipyards and supporting equipment factories throughout the country, and initially established some scientific research and design institutions and schools. In 1959, 116 warships were largely completed, and their combat performance was comparable to that of the late 1940 s and early 1950 s.


The second stage was from 1961 to 1978, which was 18 years of tortuous progress for China's shipbuilding industry. During this period, under the influence of the Soviet Union's unilateral breach of contract and the "Cultural Revolution", my country's shipbuilding industry overcame many difficulties, relied on itself, and worked hard to start a business, which not only enabled my country to survive in the few countries in the world that have nuclear submarines and ocean range fleets, but also Basically formed a relatively complete shipbuilding industry system. During this period, my country's shipbuilding industry mainly contributed in four aspects: first, it independently developed the first-generation combat ships and special ships such as nuclear-powered submarines, guided missile destroyers, and ocean-going survey ships; second, it built batches to meet the development of ocean-going transportation Civilian marine ships, such as 50000-ton tankers, etc.; third, a relatively complete ship supporting network system has basically been formed, it has more than 60 professional supporting equipment factories and more than 160 production sites; fourth, it has initially established a scientific research and design system with relatively complete specialties and relatively complete test methods, such as China Ship Research Institute, Shanghai Ship Research and Design Institute, etc.


The third stage is from 1978 to 1998, which is the 20 years when China's shipbuilding industry reform and opening up released market vitality. During this period, China established the shipbuilding industry development strategy of "introducing foreign advanced technology and exporting into the international market". Through the introduction of foreign advanced technology and key production equipment from a high starting point, China carried out technological transformation of key shipyards, and soon had the ability to build ships that met the requirements of international norms and international standards, and initially realized the export of ship products. During this period, my country's shipbuilding volume accounted for less than 5% of the world's total shipbuilding for a long time, but it continued to fully integrate with international standards in terms of technology, standards, facilities, management, and trade, and gradually cultivated independent design and development capabilities, and shipbuilding efficiency, The level and quality have been significantly improved, and the product structure has gradually developed from conventional ship types to a number of high-tech, high-value-added ship types. In 1994, China surpassed Germany for the first time to become the world's third largest shipbuilding country.


The fourth stage is from 1999 to the present, which is 20 years for China's shipbuilding industry to grow from small to large and from large to strong. During this period, marked by the reorganization of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation into two major shipbuilding groups in 1999, the process of internationalization and marketization of China's shipbuilding industry was further accelerated, and the rapid transformation from domestic demand economy to export economy was further enhanced. the competitiveness in the international market has been further enhanced, and the international market share has increased significantly. In 2006, my country became the world's third largest shipbuilding country for 12 consecutive years, and the gap with the top two South Korea and Japan has narrowed significantly. In 2008, China successfully surpassed Japan in shipbuilding output, and the three major indicators all jumped to the second place in the world. In 2010, China's three major shipbuilding indicators leapt to the first place in the world for the first time, and have remained so far. After 2011, despite the impact of the international financial crisis and industry cyclical fluctuations, the absolute proportion of China's shipbuilding output, new orders and hand-held orders in the world market share has declined year by year, but the relative proportion has remained at a relatively high level of more than 35%, indicating that China's shipbuilding industry has become the most internationally competitive export-oriented economic industry. During this period, China's shipbuilding industry continued to innovate, upgrade and transform, from quantity expansion to quality efficiency, from low-end manufacturing to high-end manufacturing, and from traditional power to green power.


In 2022, among the 18 major ship types in the world, China has the largest number of new orders for 12 ship types in the world. In the field of high-end ship types, China's shipping enterprises seized the favorable opportunity of the rebound of the automobile carrier market and took in the construction orders of 24 automobile carriers worldwide in the first quarter of 2023. China's first domestic large-scale cruise ship project is progressing smoothly and is expected to be delivered by the end of 2023. Recently, my country has also signed a series of green and low-carbon large-scale container ship construction cooperation agreements with France's Dafei Group, including the construction of 12 15000-tank methanol dual-fuel container ships and 4 23000-tank LNG dual-fuel container ships. The total contract amount exceeds 21 billion yuan. These are major breakthroughs in the field of green power ships in China.