Following World War II, the People’s Republic of Mainland China found an ally in the Soviet Union due to their shared Communist ideology. The Soviet Union invested heavily in China’s industrial potential, particularly in the manufacture of weapons. In 1956 the Chinese produced their Type 56 AK variant based off the Soviet Type 3 model with minor cosmetic changes. State-run arms factories were numerous in China which led to a complex designation system which determined what rifle was made where. These designations, which included shapes and numerals, were ordered by the Chinese defense industry to disguise the location their factories. Today, the two most recognizable names in Chinese AK manufacturing are Norinco and Poly Technologies, both established in the 1980s.