Capital Beijing
Population 1,376,049,000
Language Mandarin Chinese, Simplified Chinese writing
(dialects are also common)
Currency Yuan ( ¥ ) RMB
Average Income $US 11071.68 (in the top10 cities)
Chinese Population in New Zealand 171,204
New Zealand Population in China 3,000 (estimated)
Notes China is very diverse, a more accurate way to understand 'China' is to understand its individual provinces.


The People’s Republic of China is the world’s most populous nation and one of the largest economies (2nd by nominal GDP, 1st by purchasing power parity). The world’s largest exporter, China produces a vast array of agricultural, industrial and consumer products. With its growing prosperity, China has been able to transform itself into a global economic powerhouse over the past few decades.

In the late 1970s, China began to reform their economy, moving away from the strict socialist system that had been in place for many decades. Moving toward a more market-oriented economy, China was able to achieve annual average GDP growth of 9.91% from 1979  to 2010. While growth has slowed since, the average annual GDP growth from 2011 to 2015 has still been an impressive 7.88%.

With a population of over 1.3 billion, China has a massive work force. Over 1 billion Chinese are of working age (15-64 years old). Economic reforms of the past few decades have led to a growing Chinese middle class with far more disposable income than previously. In addition to increased purchasing power, this has allowed the Chinese to contribute to the tourism industry worldwide, with 120 million Chinese travelling abroad in 2015.

Although China is the 3rd largest country by area, much of the land is sparsely populated. 94% of the population live in the eastern 40% of the country, with 55.6% of people residing in urban areas. China has a staggering number of large cities – 160 with a population of over 1 million, including 14 with a population of over 5 million. As more and more Chinese migrate into the cities for the education and employment opportunities offered, the urban population is expected to continue to grow.

Chinese exports in 2015 were $2.27 trillion in total. Their main exports are electronic devices, equipment and machinery, clothing and furniture. In 2015 China imported $1.596 trillion worth of goods. A large portion of these were machinery and energy based, such as oil and mineral fuels. With the growing Chinese middle class developing an appetite for Western consumer goods, imports in this area continue to grow.


  • 107 million Chinese travelled abroad in 2014
  • 50% of Chinese booked through phone apps
  • Their average daily spend was $710 (NZD)
  • 92% travelled for ‘leisure’
  • 215,040 Chinese visited New Zealand
  • Chinese travellers spent $1 billion in New Zealand

Export Education

  • Chinese spent $19.9 billion (USD) on overseas study
  • 35% of students studied in high schools,
  • 85% of high net worth families plan to send their children overseas
  • There are 30,179 Chinese students in New Zealand
  • 4% of Chinese international students choose to study in New Zealand


  • Chinese invested $102.9 billion (USD) overseas in 2014
  • 33% went into leasing and business services (2012)
  • 6% went into manufacturing / food processing (2012)
  • Chinese invested $1.9 billion (NZD) in NZ during 2015
  • Chinese investment in New Zealand came to 14% of all inward FDI (2015)


  • New Zealand earned $61.7 billion (NZD) in 2015 from exports
  • China takes 15% of all NZ export products ($8 billion)
  • China imports mostly primary products including: dairy, meat, wood and seafood

Friendship and Relationships

Across Asia relationship are very important in social and business life. China is no exception to this rule and as China moves forward relationships will play an ever increasingly important role. New Zealand and China maintains a strong relationship at a political and community level, below are several examples of the relationship enjoyed between our two people:

New Zealand - China Firsts

December 1972: China and New Zealand established official diplomatic relationship

August 1997 :New Zealand was the first country to complete its bilateral negotiations with China on China's WTO access

April 2004: New Zealand was the first country to recognize China's full market economy status

November 2004 :New Zealand was the first developed country to initiate the free trade agreement negotiation with China

April 2008: New Zealand was the first developed country to complete negotiations with China on a free trade agreement

June 2015: New Zealand was the first developed country to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

New Zealand China Friendship Society

The NZCFS was established in 1977 to promote friendship and communication between New Zealand and China. The society was an important conduit between the two countries and till today is a well respected and highly regarded  organisation in China and New Zealand. The NZCFS is a membership organization and welcomes anyone who is interested to learn more about China and develop friendship with the Chinese people.

Confucius Institute

Chinese language and culture is being taught in hundreds of schools across New Zealand. In many cases the teachers are provided to New Zealand schools free of charge thanks to the Chinese Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute also provide scholarships to New Zealanders' who want to further their studies in China.