Photo/Li Zhiliang (Xingxiang Guan)

Dongguan, a city often observed as a microcosm of China's manufacturing prowess, is stepping into the limelight with its "manufacturing aesthetics." Renowned economists and financial writers have long studied the city as a model for China's industrial development. In a recent three-day research trip, a team of experts discovered a transformed Dongguan, no longer just the 'world's factory,' but a hub of innovative and high-quality manufacturing.

The city's narrative is shifting from industrial hollowing to a story of robust manufacturing excellence. With manufacturing accounting for over 50% of its economy, Dongguan is not lacking in production capabilities or economic data; it is the recognition of its manufacturing beauty that it seeks.

Photo/Dongguan Daily

Dongguan's products are not just made, but crafted with a story. The city's cultural tech company, Dongguan Weishi Culture Technology, transitioned from metal processing to creating 3D metal puzzles, now exported globally under the brand "Piececool." The city's bags, shoes, and clothing brands match luxury in material and craftsmanship, with a 2023 live-streaming sales revenue of 800 million yuan.

Beyond the products, Dongguan's manufacturing prowess is evident in its automated and intelligent production lines. A mattress factory in Houjie produces 5,000 mattresses daily with just 50 workers, a testament to the city's technological leap in manufacturing.

Photo/Xingxiang Guan

Dongguan's innovation is not just in its products but also in its R&D investments, ranking second in Guangdong with a 4.10% R&D expenditure ratio, just behind Shenzhen. The city boasts a comprehensive industrial system with over 34 major categories and 62,000 products, supported by a vibrant ecosystem of industrial enterprises and high-tech companies.

The city's journey from a traditional agricultural county to a city with a GDP over one trillion and a population over ten million is a testament to China's manufacturing evolution. As Dongguan gears up for the "Made in China 2025" initiative, it is not just about better products but about leading the way in the new era of industrial civilization with its manufacturing aesthetics.

Photo/Gong Mingyang

Editor: Gao Han