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China is shifting rapidly from a traditional manufacturing into a design and brand oriented business environment.

Throughout the past decades, the weight of state-owned industries has reduced gradually due to the  market-oriented  developments. Nevertheless,  the most  important industrial sectors are still state-owned. The implementation of the Opening-up Policy from the 1980s onwards, and profits brought by it, made the establishment of a private-owned industry system possible. The influx of numerous capitals, advanced technologies, branding strategies and design products from the West has played an important role in the development of China s design industry. Compared with state-owned industries,  private-owned  industries  are more efficient  and flexible. They  have gradually evolved into a main force on the Chinese market, especially in the coastal areas. For example: in the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River delta. These companies optimize the local markets and make diversification of local productions possible.

The following four design sectors have been identified possessing a high growth potential. The findings in this mapping focus on product/industrial design and interior design.

  1. GRAPHIC DESIGN | Graphic design took off in China in the 1980s in the wake of rapid economic growth and a printing industry boom. As more and more Chinese companies are aware that branding is a key to long-term market competitiveness, there is a need for top-notch designers to work on corporate and brand identities, packaging, marketing materials, website development, etc.

  2. PRODUCT/INDUSTRIAL DESIGN | With a growing Chinese middle   class, consumer electronics, wireless communication, automobile electronics, furniture and home decoration are in high demand.

  3. INTERACTIVE  DESIGN | Include  website  development,  computer-generated  (CG)  special effects, computer-generated  (CG) animation and electronic games (both online & offline). In these fields  Hong  Kong designers  gained  international  recognition.  China s online  gaming industry is the fastest growing in the world. With a market for an estimated 41 million online gamers, the number is expected to have double-digit growth in the next years.

  4. SPATIAL  DESIGN | The rapid development of the property market  made interior design sector boom. Modern architectural and interior designs were not introduced in China till recently, as only from the 1990s-onwards living standards. Estimates state that 600 million m2 of interior decoration is furnished each year.