This paper illustrates some results emerging from an ongoing research on the industries growing in one of the areas of highest economic development in China, that is Guangdong in the southern part of the People Republic. The aim is to offer a view of the productive capacity and potential of this area in terms of organisation, territory and industrial policy. Moreover, we wish to contribute to the analysis on the nature of the competitive challenge that China poses to the Italian productive systems, particularly those of the most industrialised regions, characterised by a great diffusion of industrial districts. The attention for industrial districts comes also from a number of aspects that characterise the Chinese industrial development, in particular in Guandong. Here, the variety of specialised industries is particularly marked due to the importance both of special economic zones with their heavy foreign investments, and, in addition to the experience of diffused industrialisation, with many specialised towns and villages dedicated to the realisation of a limited range of products, often supported by a vigorous action by local policy makers.