This paper presents an overview of some of the key issues associated with the development of the steel industry in China. It is found that major institutional changes have taken place in the Chinese steel industry. These changes have important implications for steel production, consumption and trade in China. According to this study, China's steel production will continue to expand in the coming decade though there are potential uncertainties. Demand, the driving forces behind China's steel expansion, is predicted to grow too. In particular, demand for steel will be boosted significantly if several frontier areas are tapped into. China will be the largest steel consumer in the world. As a result, China will play an increasingly more important role in international steel trade. This presents challenges as well as opportunities for the global steel industry. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.