By David Solomon
The newly released Catalog of Encouraged Imported Technology and Products identifies key technologies and products that Chinese companies are encouraged to buy from abroad, potentially positive news for US companies looking to expand sales in China.
The national catalog, jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Finance (MOF), and Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), is broken into three categories of encouraged imports:
- Advanced technology: IC circuit designs, software, telecommunications technology, 3D printing, industrial automation technology, new energy vehicles (NEVs), electronic component manufacturing technology, aerospace technology, and pollution prevention technology;
- Important equipment: ship manufacturing, aircraft manufacturing, assembly and testing devices for automobiles, and satellite manufacturing; and
- Key industries for development: photovoltaics, NEV parts manufacturing, semiconductors, pollution prevention (including emissions, wastewater, and garbage disposal), new medical diagnostic devices, and new materials in aerospace and transportation.
Created in 2014 and revised three times, the catalog uses an import discount framework that subsidizes Chinese companies that purchase imported products on the list. These incentives to buy foreign-manufactured technologies and products should benefit US companies.
Many of the products are also prioritized in top development plans, such as the 13th Five-Year Plan and Made in China 2025. This indicates that China’s desire to acquire these technologies will offer sales opportunities to foreign companies until reasonable domestic substitutes are available.
While many provinces and municipalities reference the national list, some publish separate catalogs tailored to their regional economies. US companies should strategically target Chinese enterprises based on subnational lists. For example, the Guangdong provincial catalog emphasizes metal smelting and transportation equipment manufacturing, while Jiangxi province adds pharmaceuticals and raw material production technologies. Other provinces, such as Liaoning and Shaanxi, plan to announce their own catalogs, and Ningxia is considering additional advanced technology imports. As US companies look to establish partnerships and sales channels to Chinese companies, these regional lists identify which provincial or local governments are prioritizing specific technologies.
About the author: David Solomon is a business advisory services manager for the US-China Business Council, a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of more than 200 American companies that do business with China. Contact David at [email protected]