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China: Machine Tools
Country Study > Chapter 7 > Industry > Manufacturing > Machine Building > Machine Tools


In 1986 about 120 major enterprises produced most of China's machine tools. Many of the large plants were in the east, north, and northeast, particularly in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Harbin, and Tianjin. In the early and mid-l980s, a number of agreements with foreign manufacturers aimed to help China upgrade its machinetool industry. The Shanghai Municipal Government also asked World Bank's assistance in preparing and financing a comprehensive modernization scheme for the Shanghai machine-tool industry.

Overall, the machine-tool industry was based on 1960s technology. Many of the tools had a service life of only five to seven years, compared with twelve to fifteen years in industrialized countries. The tools were generally unreliable and ill-suited for precision work because of outdated design, lowquality purchased components, substandard manufacturing facilities, and a lack of production-management expertise.

Data as of July 1987

Last Updated: July 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for China was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

China Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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