Drop your sourcing request to AutofromChina We're also selling on Alibaba. Find us there! Want to know how to buy cars online from China? Check out our purchase guide
China's Next Big Thing? Used Cars.

China's huge bet on new-energy vehicles has understandably gotten the world's attention. But a less flashy phenomenon now underway may be at least as consequential for the environment in the near term: China is finally getting into used cars.

A familiar ritual in most countries, buying vehicles secondhand had until recently been all but unknown in China. In most markets, sales of used cars outpace those of new ones by a wide margin, usually two-to-one or more. About 39 million used cars were sold in the U.S. last year, for instance, compared to 17 million new ones. In China, the opposite prevailed: 29 million new cars sold, and just 12 million used ones.

That's thanks to some quirks in China's auto market. Until the late 2000s, poor-quality manufacturing limited the lifespan of Chinese-made cars, while prospective secondhand buyers had few ways to determine a vehicle's ownership and accident history. The industry was also highly fragmented, with a well-earned reputation for sketchiness.