Norinco was established in the early 1980's as the export arm of the Fifth Ministery of Machine Industry 5MMI. In 1982, 5MMI was renamed to Ministry of Ordnance Industry. Norinco was "corporized" in 1988 as the China Ordnance Industry Corporation COIC. Due to recognition issues, the name Norinco remained in use.
The reorganization of state owned enterprises after the ninth meeting of the National People's Congress restructured much of China's defense industrial complex. 1998 COIC was divided into two entities: China Ordnance Industry Group Company and China Ordnance Equipment Industry Group Company. Norinco remained one of the export arms of the two new entities.
(Text partially adopted from Norinco, China)