- China’s chemical industry features both gratifying revenue figures and alarming safety situations.
- The Chinese government has made continued efforts to enhance safety in the chemical industry, especially activities related to hazardous chemicals.
- Companies engaging in the use or operations of Grade I and II major hazard installations for hazardous chemicals are now subject to registration requirements.
In 2018, China’s chemical industry raked in considerable revenue and profit: total revenue for the sector was RMB 12.4 trillion, entailing a yoy increase of 13.6%. Total profit reached RMB 839.38 billion, up 32.1% from the previous year. Its performance is also impressive in relative terms globally: with a global market share of around 40 percent, it has been the world’s largest by output since 2010, and its growth makes up half the growth of the global chemical market. Nevertheless, the growth of China’s chemical sector also poses considerable challenges from an environmental and health and safety perspective.
By the end of 2018, China was home to 96,000 chemical enterprises, including 16,000 which engage in hazardous chemical production. The large number of businesses and great variety of chemicals involved confer considerable challenges to regulators and policymakers.