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Business trends

China's state-backed shipbuilders overcome coronavirus slump

South Korean rivals look to maintain technical advantage in global battle

China State Shipbuilding Corp. has seen its order book rise in value despite the slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to strong government support. (Photo by Shin Watanabe) 

DALIAN -- China's government-backed shipbuilders are busy despite the hammering the global shipping market has taken from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

By orders, China State Shipbuilding Corp., the country's top shipbuilder, was the global leader in the first quarter of this year, securing orders for 31 vessels. CSSC beat out Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, a formidable South Korean rival whose units include Hyundai Heavy Industries. Hyundai Heavy was still the top shipbuilder on an annual basis in 2019.

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