According to the General Administration of Customs of China, China’s imports added up to US$1.9631 trillion last year and Korean products accounted for 9.7 percent of it, followed by Japanese (8.3 percent), American (7.8 percent), Taiwanese (7.8 percent), German (5.3 percent), Australian (4.6 percent), and Malaysian (2.8 percent).
Korea had taken the largest portion of the Chinese import market in 2013 as well, when it had taken up 9.2 percent of it to beat Japan by a margin of one percentage point. The widening gap can be attributed to higher demand for Korean components in China’s fast-growing electronics and machinery industries.
Last year, China imported semiconductor products worth US$50.1 billion in total from Korea. The imports increased 10.8 percent from a year ago and represented more than 25 percent of the total imports from Korea. Those of auto parts and computer auxiliaries rose by 16.6 percent and 76.3 percent to US$3.9 billion and US$3.1 billion, respectively.
Nonetheless, experts point out that Korean products’ presence in the Chinese consumer goods market is still rather weak, although they are faring well in the intermediate goods market. Besides, these days, China is increasingly replacing imported products with domestic ones in expanding facilities in major industries such as displays, petrochemicals, shipbuilding, and machinery.