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This month, Lloyd’s Register is proudly celebrating its 150-year anniversary in China.

Since we sent our first surveyor to Shanghai in 1869, we have supported China’s huge transformation to the global powerhouse it is today.

From our maritime roots on the shores of Shanghai we’ve expanded across the country and into different sectors – into offshore, energy, industry, rail, quality assurance and food assurance.

Our shared story is one of people, partnership and innovation.

We look forward to continuing to support China’s next chapter.

Key dates


In 1869, surveyor Joseph J Tucker opened LR’s first Asian office in Shanghai on the Nanking Road.

Nanking Road, Shanghai 1911
Nanking Road, Shanghai 1911


In 1865, the first modern shipyard in China opened in Jiangnan, Shanghai. Survey work included tea clippers as well as vessels built in this shipyard locally.


By the 1920s, LR surveyors had become renowned throughout Shanghai shipping circles.


In the 1960s, LR carried out statutory surveys on behalf of the Chinese government under international shipping conventions.


 In 1978, LR signed a reciprocal survey agreement with the Register of Shipping of the People’s Republic of China.


In 1980, we opened up a regional presence in Hong Kong, followed by permanent offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Dalian.


In 1982, the 28,076 tons deadweight Regent Tampopo was completed and classified by LR, the first major ship built in modern China for export.

Regent Tampopo 1982
Regent Tampopo 1982 (When the 28,076 tons deadweight Regent Tampopo was completed to LR class at the Dalian Shipyard in 1982, it became the first major ship built in modern China for export)


In 1985, Pokan Wu became the first LR Country Manager to reside in China since the Second World War. LR employees went on to play a key role in raising standards in Chinese shipyards.


By the mid 1980s, LR was also inspecting various equipment and facilities built under license in China, such as pressure vessels, main and auxiliary air receivers, power machine plants and electrical machinery built to LR class, plus factories for the manufacture of marine electric cables, the manufacture of deck cranes and steering machinery. Several steelworks and Dalian Shipyard had also been approved by LR for the manufacture of cast anchor and chain cables.

Energy LR China Inspection Boiler
Energy LR Surveyor inspecting a boiler


1992, was the start of LR’s long involvement in China’s offshore industry beginning with the Arco China Inc. Yacheng 13-1 gas project.


In 1994 LR opened a non-marine office in Beijing to cover inspection, certification, design approval and offer advice on safety and environmental systems. The new office provided a base for LR’s range of services to the land-based and offshore industry in the region.


In 1996, LR began delivering accredited Management Systems Assessment, Certification and Training services in China. Today, our Business Assurance division has over 2000 clients, across all of the major sectors in China and covering more than 25 global standards and schemes as well as a range of public and in-house training courses.


By 1998, our employees were inspecting over 100,000 locally built containers for leading clients such as Maersk and Sea Containers. As China fast became the world’s foremost manufacturing economy, LR’s office network also supported enormous growth in asset management and quality assurance work.


In 2017 - LR Classed the world’s largest civilian hospital ship in China, the 36000 ton in Xingang SY.  

Civil hospital ship
The world's largest civil hospital ship takes to the seas in Tianjin. [Credit: chinadaily.com.cn]


In 2017, China’s first smart ship, classed by LR, embedded with a domestically-developed intelligent navigation system made its debut in Shanghai. The 179-meter-long ship, Great Intelligence, developed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), was installed with SOMS, a China-Developed marine system with autonomous learning ability and intelligent operation system.

Great intelligence
Great Intelligence is China's first 'smart' ship [Credit china.org.cn]


In Oct 2019 – the first cruise ship built in China to be classed by LR.

Vista class vessel
A model of the first cruise liner to be built in the Chinese mainland [Credit: China News Service]


In November 2019, China’s first domestically built research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, embarked on its maiden polar voyage as part of China’s 36th Antarctic expedition. Classed by LR, the vessel is 122.5 meters long and 22.3 meters wide and can sail on 60-day expeditions with 90 crew members and researchers. Building work began in 2016.

Xuelong 2
Xuelong 2 is the first domestically built research icebreaker in China [Credit: Mao Siqian / Xinhua]


LR announces a strategic partnership cooperation agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Research Institute of Safety and Environment Technology (Rise).

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