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China¡¯s PCB market
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China¡¯s PCB market is the most talked about on a global level. Gordon Wong examines the market and some of the challenges it faces.

In 2003, China¡¯s PCB output was US$6 billion, increasing by 2004 to US$8.15 billion and by 2005 to US$10.83 billion, close toJapan¡¯s output. In 2006,Chinabecame the biggest PCB manufacturing centre in the world, with output of US$12.8 billion. During 2007,China¡¯s PCB industry is projected to grow 9%, and similar growth trends are expected to continue to the year 2010 and beyond.

In terms of market sectors,China¡¯s growth in PCBs is being driving by increased demand for digital consumer products, notebook and desktop computers, telecommunications and the demands from the rapidly expanding domestic automotive segment.

Challenges facingChina¡¯s PCB industry

China¡¯s indigenous PCB technology research and development infrastructure is still relatively weak, and there is a need to upgrade product quality and technology, and place more emphasis on multilayer boards, HDI, multi-layer flex and rigid-flex boards, boards with special materials, and HDI high grade backplanes.

As a country,Chinahistorically has spent about 1.5% of its GDP on R&D, compared to 2.7% for theU.S.However, the near-term goal for the Chinese government is to boost that percentage to 2% of GDP by 2010 and 2.5% by 2020, and indeed according to a Dec 2006 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), China has for the first time spent more on R&D than Japan and so has become the world¡¯s second highest investor in R&D after the US.China¡¯s spending on R&D as a percentage of GDP more than doubled from 0.6% of GDP in 1995 to just over 1.2% in 2004, and it is growing even faster than the economy which is growing by between 9 and 10% a year.

As industrial demand continues to grow, there is a need inChina¡¯s PCB industry to strengthen and improve overall capacity in the supply infrastructure.China¡¯s PCB industry needs to be able to produce everything from simple PCBs to complex electronic circuit components, including assembly of electronic components and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) development, and it is only through increased investment that this will take place.

Therefore it is urgent to attract more overseas enperise to tap intoChina¡¯s PCB market. It is one of the best ways to improveChina¡¯s PCB industry.

 

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