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China Table of Contents



In 1987 China's electronics industry was about ten to fifteen years behind those of the industrialized nations. Key problems were the inability to transfer technology from research to production and continued reliance on hand labor. Also, impatience to reach Western standards sometimes proved counterproductive. For example, instead of buying a complex item such as a microprocessor abroad, China chose to develop its own, at great expense.

In 1985 the electronics industry consisted of approximately 2,400 enterprises, 100 research institutions, 4 institutes of higher learning, and 20 secondary vocational schools. The industry employed some 1.36 million people, including 130,000 technical personnel. Besides the approximately 2,000 types of electronic components and large-scale integrated circuits produced by the industry, it made 400 varieties of electronic machinery, including electronic computers, television broadcast transmitters and receivers, and radar and communications equipment. In the 1980s China made great strides in the production of consumer electronic products such as televisions, radios, and tape recorders.

Data as of July 1987