Jewelry trade in ChinaJewelry has been traded in China for centuries. Archaeologists uncovered evidence showing jade imports from western countries since the 13th century BC. During the Tang Dynasty (around the 7th century), numerous gemstones and gold were brought to China from Middle and West Asia along the far-famed ancient silk road. Today, China is one of the world's top jewelry import destinations and the second-largest jewelry exporter. In 2020, around 13.5 billion Hong Kong dollars' worth of jewelry was shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong for re-exporting to other countries, making it China's largest jewelry export destination. Despite a nearly 40 percent drop that year, inlay jewelry remained the most exported jewelry type from China in 2020. In the same year, gold was China's most imported jewelry and precious metal, with an import value of more than 11 billion U.S. dollars.
Jewelry consumption in ChinaChina is the most massive jewelry consumer market in the world. In 2021, the number of jewelry consumers in China was expected to surpass 1.05 billion, nearly three-fourths of the country's population. The demand for gold, silver, and jewelry remained steady over the past year, with monthly retail sales hovering around 20 to 30 billion yuan. Besides wearing it for personal adornment, another major reason for Chinese consumers to purchase jewelry is for their weddings. A survey in 2021 found that nearly 90 percent of married couples bought jewelry and over three-quarters bought wedding rings. Wedding jewelry expenditures ranged from 50,000 to 100,000 yuan for the majority of consumers.
Jewelry retail in China is still dominated by offline channels. Nevertheless, consumers are increasingly opting to purchase jewelry online as a result of the growing e-commerce market. Between 2016 and 2020, the percentage of jewelry sales online nearly doubled. One of China's leading jewelry brands, LukFook Jewellery, saw its online sales share exceed 30 percent in 2020.