An accurate emission inventory is a crucial part of air pollution management and is essential for air quality modelling. One source in an emission inventory, an industrial source, has been known with high uncertainty in both location and magnitude in China. In this study, a new reallocation method based on blue-roof industrial buildings was developed to replace the conventional method of using population density for the Chinese emission development. The new method utilized the zoom level 14 satellite imagery (i.e. Google.sup.Â®) and processed it based on hue, saturation, and value (HSV) colour classification to derive new spatial surrogates for province-level reallocation, providing more realistic spatial patterns of industrial PM.sub.2.5 and NO.sub.2 emissions in China. The WRF-CMAQ-based PATH-2016 model system was then applied with the new processed industrial emission input in the MIX inventory to simulate air quality in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) area (formerly called Pearl River Delta, PRD). In the study, significant root mean square error (RMSE) improvement was observed in both summer and winter scenarios in 2015 when compared with the population-based approach. The average RMSE reductions (i.e. 75 stations) of PM.sub.2.5 and NO.sub.2 were found to be 11 Âµg m.sup.-3 and 3 ppb, respectively. Although the new method for allocating industrial sources did not perform as well as the point- and area-based industrial emissions obtained from the local bottom-up dataset, it still showed a large improvement over the existing population-based method. In conclusion, this research demonstrates that the blue-roof industrial allocation method can effectively identify scattered industrial sources in China and is capable of downscaling the industrial emissions from regional to local levels (i.e. 27 to 3 km resolution), overcoming the technical hurdle of â¼ 10 km resolution from the top-down or bottom-up emission approach under the unified framework of emission calculation.