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Profiles of China Provinces, Cities and Industrial Parks

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Beijing: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20172018
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)12,801.56.713,032.06.61
Per Capita GDP (RMB)128,9946.71
Added Value Output
   Primary industry  (RMB bn)12.0-5.9111.9-2.31
   Secondary industry (RMB bn)532.74.71564.84.21
   Tertiary industry (RMB bn)2,256.87.312,455.47.31
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)5.614.61
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)894.85.7-9.9
Retail Sales (RMB bn)1,157.55.21,174.82.7
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.92.5
Exports (US$ bn)58.512.574.226.6
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)12.40.315.121.7
Imports (US$ bn)265.215.1338.227.4
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)53.52.857.57.5
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ bn)24.386.7

1 In real terms
2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million

Sources: Beijing Statistical Yearbook 2018, Beijing Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs Statistics 12.2017, 12.2018


General Background

Beijing has a total area of 16,411 sq km. Total population stood at 21.7 million by the end of 2017.

Beijing is the capital of China and the country's political, cultural and international exchange centre. Beijing is one of the four municipalities directly under the central government. Along with Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, the capital city enjoys similar economic and administrative powers as a province.


Beijing’s service sector accounted for 80.6% of the city’s GDP in 2017. Financial services, information technology services, and scientific research & technical services, were the three biggest sectors, comprising 16.6%, 11.3%, and 10.2% of the GDP respectively.


Composition of GDP (%)


Source: Beijing Statistical Yearbook 2018


Beijing is pushing forward the development of modern services sectors, including the development of services outsourcing, cultural and creative industries. Beijing has also adopted a cultural and creative industry development programme. It is estimated that in 2017, the value-added output of the cultural and creative industry realised a growth of 11.7% to RMB400 billion, accounting for about 14% of Beijing’s GDP.

Beijing’s industrial production is dominated by heavy industries and large enterprises. In 2017, heavy industries accounted for 84.5% of Beijing’s gross industrial output and large and medium size enterprises accounted for 83.3% of the output. Major industries include telecommunications equipment, transportation equipment, chemicals, machinery, metallurgy and manufacturing of medicines.


Output Share of Leading Industry Groups (2017)

Item% share of gross industrial output
Production and Distribution of Electricity and Heating Power23.8
Motor vehicles23.8
Computers, communication equipment & others11.6
Manufacture of medicines5.2
Electrical equipment and machinery  
Processing of petroleum, coking, processing of nuclear fuel3.1
Machinery for special purposes2.9
Machinery for general purposes  
Non-metallic mineral products2.3
Railway locomotives, ships and other transportation equip.2.2

Source: Beijing Statistical Yearbook 2018


Development of the High-tech Sector

In 2017, Beijing’s total R&D expenditure amounted to RMB158 billion, up 6.4%, accounting for 5.6% of its GDP.

Beijing is trying to build a Chinese Silicon Valley and in this connection the Zhongguancun Science Park was set up in 1988 to attract investment in science and technology. In 2017, total sales revenue grew by 15.2% to RMB5,302.6 billion. Apple Inc. has also planned to establish a R&D centre in Zhongguancun.

Beijing’s strengths in human capital and scientific research have helped the development of its hi-tech sector. Beijing has the largest number of and the most prestigious institutions of higher education and scientific research in the country. In 2017, 397,000 employed persons were engaged in R&D activities, an increase of 6.4%.


Tourism is also an important industry in Beijing. The city has been the capital of China most of the time since the Yuan Dynasty. Its tourist attractions feature its rich palatial heritages. In 2017, the city received 3.93 million overseas tourists and recorded US$5.13 billion in tourism receipts; 290 million domestic tourists were received, posting RMB512.2 billion in tourism receipts.

Foreign Trade

Hong Kong was the second largest export market of Beijing in 2017, trailing only Singapore. During the year, Hong Kong accounted for 8.3% of Beijing’s exports. In 2017, Beijing’s exports to Hong Kong grew by 9% from 2016 to US$4.83 billion. Beijing’s major exports to Hong Kong are machinery and electronic products and high-tech products.

The US was the leading source of imports in 2017, followed by Germany.

Foreign Investment

Chart: Utilised FDI of Beijing
Chart: Utilised FDI of Beijing

In 2017, the information transmission, computer services and software sector accounted for 54.2% of the total utilised FDI and contributed to the marked growth of the total utilised FDI. The utilised amount of FDI in the manufacturing sector accounted for only 1.6% of the total utilised FDI in Beijing in 2017.

Hong Kong was the largest source of FDI in Beijing in 2017. Utilised FDI from Hong Kong stood at US$21.5 billion and accounted for 88.2% of the total FDI. In recent years, Hong Kong investors have actively participated in urban redevelopment. For example, Hong Kong property developers have invested in redevelopment projects in Xidan and Wangfujing. Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation is also participating in the Beijing Metro Line 16 project.

Other major investors in 2017 came from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, South Korea and British Virgin Islands.

Consumer Market

Purchasing power is strong in Beijing. In terms of per capita disposable income of urban residents, Beijing reached RMB62,406 in 2017, increasing by 9%. Huge consumption demand from both the local residents and tourists has made Beijing one of the biggest consumer markets in China.


Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Households (%)

Food, tobacco and liquor19.8
Household articles & services6.5
Health care & medical services7.7
Transportation & communications13.4
Recreation, cultural & education10.7

Source: Beijing Statistical Yearbook 2018


Beijing’s three traditional shopping districts – Wangfujing, Xidan and Qianmen are well known in the country. In more recent years, due to development of the different ring roads, new shopping and commercial districts have emerged in areas around or outside the third ring such as the Chaoyang District and Haidian District.

Attracted by the size and potential of the consumer market, new department stores and shopping complexes mushroomed in the past few years. Retail outlets such as supermarkets, convenient stores, and warehouse-style membership stores have also developed rapidly. Foreign-invested chain supermarkets such as Carrefour, Metro have entered the Beijing market. The operation of foreign-invested enterprises has stimulated the development of other local chain stores and retail groups such as Hualian and Gome.


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