SWOT analysis of China (Chinese National SWOT)
This is a comprehensive SWOT analysis of China. It examines some of the strengths and the weaknesses of China as a country in general and explores how the country can make use of opportunities for further development and shield itself from any threats.
China is a world power that has a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, with 56 officially recognised ethnic groups (Han being the largest, but also including Manchu, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Koreans, and Mongols). There is no surprise that it is also the world’s second-largest economy by nominal GDP.
Strengths of China
China’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, having grown by 8.1% in 2021, with annual growth averaging 10% over the last 30 years. China has been largely capitalist since 1978 and it has made extensive use of foreign investment to grow its economy, society, and defence power (Cheng, 2022).
Having the world’s largest population, and one of the fastest growing middle classes, has helped China become a leader in manufacturing, exporting goods to other countries, and buying products from other countries. It already has a ‘super-sized’ domestic market. It has lifted over 100 million people out of poverty since 2011.
Global companies love to manufacture their products in China. The major factors influencing this decision include but not limited to availability of lower-wage workers throughout the country, stable currency and political environment, world-class logistics, and world-class safety and security.
China has some of the top universities in Asia and indeed in the world. For example, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Southern University of Science and Technology, Nankai University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology have been featuring prominently in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (WUR) for the last several years.
China is a country with a vast and detailed history and beautiful natural landscapes. Tourist locations such as the Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China, Zhangjiajie, and numerous other stunning attractions mesmerise people. With so many people and ethnicities, the food and culture are explosion on the senses. China has long been a place of wonder and exoticism.
One of the most common man-made structures is The Great Wall of China. It was built continuously from the 3rd Century BC to the 17th Century AD, with a total length of more than 20,000 kilometres it stretches across 15 provinces. It is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage site as of 1978 (UNESCO, 2022).
China’s climate ranges from extremely dry, desert like conditions to tropical monsoon, with the greatest contrast in temperature between its northern and southern borders of any country in the world (Franke, 2022). Some well-known dishes that originate from the country are Kung Pao chicken, dumplings, Peking roasted duck and Cantonese dim sum.
Weaknesses of China
Discussion on weaknesses is a key part in the SWOT analysis of China (Chinese National SWOT). Though China is an economic powerhouse, it has also claimed the title of the world’s top emitter, producing more than a quarter of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emission, which contribute to climate change.
There are still a sizable number of the population that live below the poverty line, with the gap between the poor and the rich growing ever wider. People with less than $2.30 at their disposal per day are considered living below the poverty line (Buchholz, 2021). Apart from the poverty, China is also perceived to have done little to improve its human rights records.
The Chinese economy has not done well recently, as previously expected. The economic growth has slowed down as major energy crisis hits production, dragging down industrial activity. The real estate market has also taken a heavy hit. However, this slump is expected to be short-lived.
Opportunities for China
China’s exports will continue to be a key driver in the years to come. However, the country has focused on its domestic market which is set to reach $12.7 trillion by 2030 (Cheng, 2021). With exports, and such a big domestic market, Chinese economy is projected to overtake the U.S. economy by 2028 (Elliott, 2020).
Cooperation with other global and regional powers should help China to improve its global standing further. Cooperation can take place in areas such as trade, defence, technology, and many others.
China has vast unused lands. Particularly coastal land that are suitable for construction or agriculture could be used for development of different industries. This can drive up local economy.
Threats to China
Threat is the final part in the SWOT analysis of China. Having an export-oriented economy makes China vulnerable to fluctuations in the international market and trade wars. This was evident recently when it was engaged with tariff wars with the United States. Similarly, border dispute with India may be problematic as well.
China is also vulnerable to numerous natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods. Natural disasters have caused it a direct loss of $44.5 billion during 2021. Million hectares of agricultural land were damaged as well.
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Last update: 10 May 2023
Buchholz, K. (2021) Is China tackling poverty, available at: https://www.statista.com/chart/25138/people-under-poverty-line-china/ (accessed 26 January 2022)
Cheng, E. (2022) China’s economy grew 8.1% in 2021 compared to a year ago, available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/17/china-economy-gdp-for-december-and-full-year-2021.html (accessed 25 January 2022)
Elliott, L. (2020) China to overtake US as world’s biggest economy by 2028, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/26/china-to-overtake-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy-by-2028-report-predicts (accessed 26 January 2022)
Franke, H. (2022) China, available at: https://www.britannica.com/place/China/Population-distribution (accessed 26 January 2022)
UNESCO (2022) The Great Wall, available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/438/ (accessed 26 January 2022)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.