China has boasted the world’s second-largest arms-manufacturing industry for the past five years, ranking behind the U.S. in sales but outstripping Russia and the top European nations, according to a report released Sunday by a Swedish think tank.
In its annual study of arms sales, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) for the first time released figures for individual Chinese defense firms.
The study found that sales of arms and military services by the global sector’s 25 largest companies for which data are available totaled $361 billion last year, an 8.5% increase over 2018. SIPRI is an independent arms-trade analyst.
Among those companies, four are Chinese and 12 are American. Those Chinese companies had combined sales of $56.7 billion in 2019, compared with $221.2 billion from the U.S. companies. Two of the top 25 firms are Russian, with combined sales of $13.9 billion.
SIPRI figures showed that revenues for Chinese defense manufacturers have failed to keep pace with the global growth, with the top four Chinese firms growing by 4.8% last year. However, SIPRI’s data on Chinese firms excludes inaccessible sales figures from major companies in missile manufacturing and shipbuilding.