The Chinese Steel Industry’s Transformation

The Chinese Steel Industry’s Transformation

Structural Change, Performance and Demand on Resources

Edited by Ligang Song and Haimin Liu

This unique and informative book provides a central reference work on the Chinese steel industry and discusses China’s increasing demand on metals from both macroeconomic and regional perspectives.

Chapter 1: Steel industry development and transformation in China: an overview

Ligang Song and Haimin Liu

Subjects: economics and finance, industrial economics


The steel industry epitomises traditional industrialization. The major economies of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Korea and the United States experienced stages of development where the steel industry played a pivotal role in transforming their economies. The role of the steel industry in this development is more than symbolic; the technology and ready availability of the steel products enabled further economic growth and development. Industries essential for industrialization and modernization, such as machinery and building infrastructure, were able to grow and expand. China has a long history of iron and steel production. Hartwell (1962, 1966, 1967, cited by Findlay and O’Rourke, 2007) described the remarkable expansion in Chinese iron and steel production during the Northern Song dynasty (the period 960–1126 ce): ‘The scale of total production, and of the levels of output and employment in individual plants, was far in excess of anything attained by England in the eighteenth century, at the time of the Industrial Revolution.’

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