Exploring the Unique Industrial Belt of Hardware and Tools (1)

After more than 30 years of rapid development, China’s hardware and tool industry has become an important global hardware and tool product production and foreign trade country, which is important in promoting economic growth and stimulating consumption. With the progress of technology and the production process, China’s hardware and tool foreign trade pattern from low-end products to high-end products gradually transitioned. According to customs statistics, in 2022, the total import and export volume of China’s hardware products industry was 195.45 billion US dollars, an increase of 1.3%. Among them, the export of US $169.76 billion, an increase of 3.49%.

Hardware and tools can be divided into building hardware, tool hardware, daily hardware, lock abrasives, kitchen and bathroom hardware, home hardware and so on. China’s hardware and tool industry cluster, shows a complete industrial chain, distinctive industrial characteristics, high brand concentration characteristics. Geographically, it is mainly distributed in Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei, Fujian, Hunan, Henan, Shanghai, Chongqing and other provinces and municipalities directly under the Central government, with industrial clusters radiating South China, East China, North China, Central China and other key national markets, In terms of foreign trade, the international market share is far ahead.

Zhejiang Province:

Hardware and tools first export province

In the first three quarters of 2023, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Jiangsu ranked among the top three in terms of total exports. These three provinces are the main producing areas of hardware and tools, showing a clear trend of industrial clusters, but also the top three export provinces of hardware and tools, accounting for 31%, 15%, 16%. As the first export province of hardware and tools, Zhejiang has industrial clusters of hardware tools subcategories throughout the province, which has laid a solid foundation for the hardware and tools industry in Zhejiang.

Jinhua hardware (power tools) industry is a traditional characteristic industry and pillar industry, with a total output value of more than 50 billion yuan. Jinhua Yongkang, known as “China’s hardware capital” and “World hardware capital”  is the pillar industry of Yongkang, accounting for 90% of industrial output value. Yongkang has the largest hardware market in the country and the third largest in the world – China Science and Technology Hardware City, with a market turnover of 45.532 billion yuan in 2022.

There is a saying that seven out of every 10 doors in China come from Yongkang. In foreign trade, Yongkang has also been quite prominent, 5 out of every 10 sets of power tools in the world, and 6 out of every 10 thermos cups in the world come from Yongkang. Wang Li, Boda, Sanfeng, Xingyue, Buyang, Qunsheng, Hals, etc., are representative enterprises in Yongkang.

Ningbo City, which occupies second place in Zhejiang Province’s GDP, leads the country in the hardware tools industry, such as bearings, electric drills, chainsaws, and screws. Bearings, home appliances, and auto parts are important pillars of the Ningbo Cixi industrial economy; the total output value of the industry accounts for 40% of the town’s industrial output value.

Ningbo Yinzhou District has all kinds of hardware tools industry and trade enterprises, more than 1000, more than 90% of export enterprises, and 2020 exports of more than 2 billion US dollars; Ningbo Yuyao is known as “China’s power tool manufacturing base”, Great Wall Seiko, Landa, Giant, Shuaikang, Antuo, Wugu, Baoxing and other representative enterprises, are from Ningbo Yuyao.

Guangdong Province

Mainly in metal products, home hardware

Hardware and tool industry is also a typical traditional industry in Guangdong, forming a complete industrial chain based on metal products and home hardware, with Jiangmen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Chaozhou, Guangzhou, Foshan, etc. as the center, all the way to promote the rapid development of Guangdong’s economy.

Among them, Jiangmen Xinhui Siqian, Heshan Site Mountain, and Kaiping Shuikou have developed into well-established industrial clusters in the metal products sector. Shuikou specializes in faucets as its traditional industrial product, boasting a remarkable presence with over 700 plumbing and bathroom enterprises. Among them, 16 enterprises have achieved an output value exceeding 100 million yuan. In addition to the renowned orange peel, Xinhui is known for its kitchen utensils, household utensils, and stainless steel plates, which are exported to over 100 countries and regions worldwide, including Europe, America, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Latin America.

Metal products are the highest-valued and most significant industry in Jiangmen, accounting for the highest proportion of the city’s industrial output. In 2022, the metal products industry in Jiangmen achieved an industrial output value of 6.906 billion yuan and added 14.282 billion yuan to the city’s GDP. Additionally, Jiangmen is one of China’s bathroom hardware and sanitary ware production bases and one of Guangdong’s three major stainless steel production bases.
Zhongshan is known as “the Lock Capital of China”, with an industrial cluster consisting of over 800 lock manufacturers, accounting for 70% of the national industry’s total output value and 85% of exports. Recently, Zhongshan Xiaolan Town made it onto the list of Guangdong Province’s Intelligent Lock Industrial Cluster. Xiaolan has over 180 smart lock manufacturers and 5,300 supporting enterprises, with a total output value of the lock industry exceeding 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) and an annual production of 2 million smart locks. It has also produced well-known brands that follow the “two legs” strategy of domestic and foreign sales, such as Dinggu, Huafeng, Mingmen, and Sakura.

Guangzhou and Foshan, as the hub and birthplace of China’s home furnishing industry, have witnessed the emergence of a group of outstanding home hardware enterprises. Foshan Shunde Lecong, known as the “Capital of China’s Home Hardware,” is home to approximately 1,300 home hardware-related companies. In 2022, the output value of large-scale hardware enterprises in Foshan reached 14.2 billion yuan. Represented by Dongtai, Tute, Jusen, and Taiming, Shunde has several exemplary companies with an output value exceeding 100 million yuan. Shunde Danzao, renowned as an industrial cluster for small hardware categories, is known as the “Capital of Daily Hardware” in China. The hardware industry accounts for 70% of the town’s industrial output value, encompassing over 1,000 varieties of products such as lighting fixtures, nail clippers, and garment/bag accessories. These products are exported to countries including Europe, America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Jiangsu Province

Danyang hardware tools account for 60% of the world’s production capacity

Jiangsu is a significant province in China for hardware production. According to incomplete statistics, there are thousands of hardware and tool manufacturing and sales enterprises in Jiangsu, generating an annual output value of hundreds of billions of yuan. Among them, Zhenjiang Danyang, known as “China’s Hardware Tools Town,” is home to over 500 hardware and tool production enterprises. Notable companies include Tiangong Group, ranked among “China’s Top 500 Manufacturing Private Enterprises,” Feida, listed among “China’s Top 500 Machinery Enterprises,” as well as Fengtai, Youan, Huachang, Chaofeng, and others.

Danyang twist drill, high-speed tool line, powder metallurgy materials, steel, alloy saw blades, and other production capacity accounted for more than one-third of the country, of which twist drill exports accounted for more than 70% of the country. Danyang hardware tools occupy 60% of the world’s production capacity, the world market hardware tools have pricing power, and in the international trade market the “invisible champion” role is obvious.

In addition, Xuzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou and other places in Jiangsu have strong pillar industries: Xuzhou Pizhou wire cutter production ranks first in the same industry, accounting for 55% of the national sales market; Wuxi has more than 10,000 mechanical and electrical hardware enterprises, mechanical and electrical hardware has become one of the pillar industries of Wuxi; Suzhou hardware tools, medical equipment, light industrial knives and scissors, garden tools, kitchen utensils are exported to Europe, the United States, the Middle East, South Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and other more than 70 countries and regions, hardware tools have more than 130 product series, more than 3,000 varieties, annual sales of more than 180 million pieces.