A report released on August 17, by two IISS researchers Meia Nouwens and Dr Lucie Beraud-Sudreau showed that while in 2018 all eight Chinese Defence SoEs ranked in the top 22 of the Defense News global list with three in the top ten, in 2019 only two Chinese Defence SoEs ranked in the top ten though all 25 figured in the top 25 of the Defense News global list. All but one of the conglomerates slipped in their rankings compared to previous years. The report said that in line with China’s defence-modernisation priorities in the air, space and maritime domains, AVIC, China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO), and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) remain the top three conglomerates with the highest defence-related revenue figures, with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) taking fourth place. China’s two largest shipbuilding conglomerates, CSIC and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) -- China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and CSIC merged in November 2019 to form the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Ltd. -- saw an increase in their defence-related revenue of 17.6% and 13.1% respectively – the highest year-on-year growth in defence-related revenue of all eight SOEs between 2018 and 2019. It said some companies fared worse than others. China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) forecast that its revenue would grow by 10% between 2018 and 2019, but it only saw approximately 3% revenue growth, possibly due to the ripple effects of the US-China trade war. While China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)’s defence-related revenue slipped by -0.4%, China South Industries Group (CSGC), which produces military vehicles, artillery and ammunition, fared particularly poorly in this year’s results after already having shown diminishing results in 2018. Defence-related revenue for CSGC fell by -22.7%, while its total revenue has also shrunk for the third year in a row, thereby continuing the conglomerate’s decline. The report cautioned that the strength of China's defence technological and industrial base shouldn’t be underestimated as, according to Defense News’ 2019 list, China remains the second-largest market in total defence revenue terms at US$95 billion, behind that of the US. According to IISS calculations using 2019 US$ constant exchange rates, the total defence-related revenue of China’s eight SOEs is US$97bn. This falls just short of the total defence revenue of all European companies on Defense News’ Top 100 list this year, which stands at US$100bn. 

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