Using a two-dimensional multi-variable approach, this article investigates the competitiveness and dynamics of Chinese industries from the perspective of the international marketplace. The study reveals the step-by-step transformation of the degree of global competitiveness across 97 Chinese industries during the last decade. A new metric is applied to map the competitiveness of this sample of industries in 1996 and 2008. Comparison of the two metrics reveals the evolution of industries in terms of their degree of global competitiveness. Additionally, a number of representative industries are, by way of case studies, analysed in greater detail. From these cases we learn how the degree of global competitiveness of these industries changed over a 13-year period.