The word "industry" in English-Chinese dictionary have multiple meanings, including both "工业" and "行业", but I think there are differences between "工业" and "行业". What is the most accurate translation of "工业" and "行业" in English ?

3 Answers 3


Hard and fast separation of the terms may be elusive. Seems to me, 行业 can include service industries, whereas 工业 does not.

'commercial industry' generally refers different economic activity categories, such as the production of the same kind of goods
or having the same industrial process
or providing the same service,
for example the catering industry, the clothing industry, or the mechanical engineering industry.

"Processing Industry" refers to that branch of economic activity responsible for the extraction, collection and processing of all kinds of raw materials for socially useful material products.

  • Seems 行业 should be translate to "industry", but "Processing Industry" sounds a bit unnatural to me.
    – fad99daf
    Jul 3, 2022 at 12:47

工业, "industry", is a specific type of business, or trade, that deals with labor and production making.

行业 means "line of work/business", or "walk of life", in 工业, 商業, 農業, or...

  • 你是榦(從事)什麼行业的 - 工业,商業,還是農業?

行业 - industry/ field of


造船行业 - anything related to shipbuilding

製衣行业 - anything related to clothes manufacturing

工业 - industry (of manufacturing)


造船工业 - the shipbuilding industry that manufactures ship

製衣工业 - the clothes manufacturing industry that manufactures clothes

Any line of work can be called a 行业; one has to manufacture something to be a 工业

You can have 娛樂行业 or 飲食行业 but not 娛樂工业 or 飲食工业 because the entertainment field and the restaurant field don't manufacture goods

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