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China’s Seven Regions Explained

chinas seven regions explained.jpeg

To help organize such a large and complex country, China divides itself into seven distinct regions comprised of several provinces that share geographic and cultural proximity to each other.

Understanding how China’s landscape is divided according to official governmental organizational principles can help inform your research and planning efforts for doing business in China with a Chinese company.   


With a vast land mass (3.7 million square miles, just slightly smaller than the United States) and a staggering population of close to 1.4 billion people, China embodies a variety of geographical, cultural, and economic diversity. To help organize such a large and complex country, China divides itself into seven distinct regions comprised of several provinces that share geographic and cultural proximity to each other.

China has 23 provinces (including Taiwan), five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions (Macau and Hong Kong). You’ll encounter references to the seven regions of China in several circumstances, such as the address code on the China ID card numbering system; China’s company registration database, the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System; and weather forecasts.

As we’ve done with our explanations of the China Tier Cities and of the China Free Trade Zones, we’ve organized the information on China’s seven regions in a table format for ease of use and review.

 
Schematic diagram of the division of China into seven geographical regions.
 

Seven Regions of China: Chart

Region
Chinese name
Name in Pinyin (official romanization for standard Chinese)
Population
% of China’s total population
Area (in square kilometers)
% of China’s total land mass
Provinces: English (Chinese)
North China华北Huabei137,250,00010.20%1,556,82816.20%
Beijing (北) Tianjin (天津) Hebei (河北) Shanxi (山西) Inner Mongolia (内蒙古)
Northeast China
东北Dongbei109,100,0008.10%790,6008.20%
Liaoning (辽宁) Jilin (吉林) Heilongjiang (黑龙江)
East China华东Huadong406,180,00030.10%798,7418.30%
Shanghai (上海) Jiangsu (江苏) Zhejiang (浙江) Anhui (安徽) Fujian (福建) Jiangxi (江西) Shandong (山东) Taiwan (台湾)
South China 华南Huanan175,153,50013.00%453,7904.70%
Guangdong (广东) Guangxi (广西) Hainan (海南) Hong Kong (香港) Macau (澳门)
Central China 华中Huazhong222,390,00016.50%564,7005.90%
Henan (河南) Hubei (湖北) Hunan (湖南)
Southwest China
西南Xinan199,670,00014.80%2,367,20024.6%)
Chongqing (重庆) Sichuan (四川) Guizhou (贵州) Yunnan (云南) Tibet (西藏)
Northwest China
西北Xibei100,890,0007.5%)3,113,10032.10%
Shaanxi (陕西) Gansu (甘肃) Qinghai (青海) Ningxia (宁夏) Xinjiang (新疆)

*Sometimes these two regions are combined and are referred to as South Central China, or 中南 in Chinese.

** Note: not included when referring to Mainland China

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Background on ChinaJason