Chinese Aerospace Strategic Priorities

Many people in the ASA Community have asked me about how to get into the Chinese market.  One important tool for getting into the market is understanding the market. 

The Chinese government has a tremendous influence on the Chinese commercial market – more so than many European or North American governments.  Thus, having an understanding of Chinese government priorities can be valuable to those seeking to enter he Chinese market. 

China publishes an “Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog” that serves as a blueprint for Chinese industrial development.  The most recent version of the Catalog is the 2019 Edition. This document is intended to identify the strategic path for ensuring that China’s economy is focused on high-quality development.  The 2019 Edition of the Catalog was adopted by the government on August 27, 2019, and went into effect on January 1, 2020.

The Catalog has three categories of industries: “encouraged”, “restricted”, and “obsolete” (industries that are not listed in the Catalog are “permitted”).  The “encouraged” category refers to industries and industry subsectors that China believes will play an important role in achieving the high-quality economy that is part of China’s strategic plan.  China has identified these as industries that need to be encouraged. 

Aerospace is listed as one of the “encouraged” industries.  There are seventeen sectors under the aerospace category that have been identified as encouraged sectors:

  1. Development and manufacturing of trunk lines, branch lines, general aircraft and parts and components;
  2. Development and manufacturing of aero-engines;
  3. Development and manufacturing of airborne equipment, mission equipment, air traffic control equipment and ground support equipment systems;
  4. Overall helicopter, rotor system, transmission system development and manufacturing;
  5. Development and production of new materials for aerospace;
  6. Manufacturing of gas turbines for aerospace use;
  7. Manufacturing of satellites, launch vehicles and parts;
  8. Application of aviation and aerospace technology and system software and hardware products, terminal product development and production;
  9. Aircraft ground simulation training system, test system development and manufacturing;
  10. Aircraft ground repair, maintenance, and testing equipment development and manufacturing;
  11. Satellite ground and application system construction and equipment manufacturing;.
  12. Aircraft special emergency rescue equipment development and application;
  13. Aircraft, equipment and parts repair;
  14. Advanced satellite payload development and production;
  15. UAV development and manufacturing of general, materials, communications, control systems, etc;
  16. Design of civil aircraft and helicopters; and
  17. Development and production of solar cells for aerospace use.

The Catalog also encourages development of aerospace ceramics, specialized aerospace aluminum alloys, and aerospace instruments and avionics (all of these are encouraged sectors under other headings).

There are a lot of factors to consider when considering entry into any foreign market, but if you are a non-Chinese businesses thinking about entering the Chinese aerospace market, then identifying ways that your project supports the Chinese Government’s strategic plan, may help facilitate your efforts.

About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. Since 1992, he has represented aviation trade associations and businesses that include aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturers, distributors, and repair stations, as well as both commercial and private operators. Blog content published by Mr. Dickstein is not legal advice; and may not reflect all possible fact patterns. Readers should exercise care when applying information from blog articles to their own fact patterns.

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