China maintained its top position in the global shipbuilding industry last year, an association said.
In 2018, Chinese companies built 43.2 percent of the new ships in the world, up from 41.9 percent a year ago, cementing the country's leading role in the sector, the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry said in a report.
China received 43.9 percent of global new orders last year and held 42.8 percent of the existing orders.
From the 1950s to the beginning of the 21st century, the three indices were topped by Japan or the Republic of Korea. In 2010, China exceeded the ROK and ranked the first in the world.
Given a lackluster global economy, however, the shipbuilding industry still faces grim circumstances, such as fierce competition and dropping profits, and Chinese companies are no exception.
The association warned of the lingering challenges and said more efforts are needed to improve competitiveness and profitability.
Chinese shipbuilders should seize the opportunity from further opening-up of the industry and ramp up research and development investment to achieve technological breakthroughs and channel more energy into developing liquefied natural gas carriers, the association suggested.