China’s air conditioning market expected to recover from pandemic in 2021March 2021

China saw the early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the air conditioning market. However, the market has been in recovery since the second quarter of 2020, driven by measures to weather the pandemic such as controlling the epidemic, promoting consumption and infrastructure construction.

China’s economy rebounded quickly in 2020 due to a well-controlled pandemic, which meant that the economy still saw modest growth despite a challenging year.

The real estate market recovered quickly, even though restriction policies for price and purchase continued in 2020. National investment in real estate development, the sales floor space, and sales value of commercial property all increased in 2020, although at a modest level compared to 2019.

The Chinese air conditioning market has continued to see good growth in recent years, but it has been slowing and the impact of COVID-19 has meant that the overall AC market dropped in 2020, with the PAC market volume decreasing notably, and the CPAC too – though to a lesser extent. The self‐contained unit, single-split, multi-split, large packaged and chiller markets all dropped, whilst only the VRF market managed to maintain modest growth.

Modest growth in the Chinese Variable Refrigerant Flow (VFR) Market

The growth of the VRF market was mainly driven by Maxi‐VRF. Whilst the maxi VRF market dropped sharply in the first quarter of 2020 due to project delays, sales began to rebound in the second quarter, driven by the replacement demand and the government’s infrastructure projects, which resulted in overall growth for the year.

Resilience in the Chinese Chiller Market

The Chiller market did not drop significantly in 2020 as large‐scale projects and long‐term projects had limited impact as they had already been specified. The market recovered, as the pandemic was under control, and the Chinese government has formulated the new development plan for 2021, with a conservative projection that GDP growth for the whole year will exceed 6 percent

Chinese air conditioning market 2021 

The Chinese air conditioning market is expected to continue to grow in 2021, in line with an increase in consumption demand and planned government infrastructure projects, whilst the pandemic has also put increasing focus on technology for AC solutions.

Fig 1: China PAC market size and growth rate in 2020 by volume, units, %

Fig 2: China CPAC market size and growth rate in 2020 by value, USD million, %

Contact BSRIA market intelligence specialists now for the latest insight on global, regional, and individual markets:

European sales enquiries: BSRIA UK: ¦ +44 (0) 1344 465 540

America sales enquiries: BSRIA USA: ¦ +1 312 753 6803

China sales enquiries: BSRIA China: ¦ +86 10 6465 7707