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Estimating the Arms Sales of Chinese Companies

Estimating the Arms Sales of Chinese Companies COVER
Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
January, 2020

Quantitative research on the finances of the Chinese arms industry has been limited by the scarcity of available data. A scoping study to estimate the financial value of the arms sales of companies in the Chinese arms industry—using a new methodology—found information on four companies: the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), the China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC) and the China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO). These four companies cover three main sectors of conventional arms production: aircraft, electronics and land systems.

The estimates suggest that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the United States and ahead of Russia. All four of the profiled companies would be ranked among the 20 largest arms-producing and military services companies globally in 2017, with three—AVIC, NORINCO and CETC—in the top 10. The new methodology improves the understanding of the structure, size and evolution of the global arms industry.


I. Introduction    

II. Arms sales estimates for Chinese arms companies   

III. Ranking Chinese arms companies    

IV. Robustness check of the estimates    

V. Conclusions


Dr Nan Tian is a Senior Researcher and Acting Programme Director with the Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme at SIPRI.
Fei Su is a Researcher in the SIPRI China and Asia Security Programme.