An overview of China's PCB industry in 2022

An overview of China’s PCB industry in 2022

Table of Contents

Definition and classification of PCB

PCB, the abbreviation of Printed Circuit Board, refers to a printed circuit board made by electronic printing technology and formed on a common substrate according to a predetermined design to form point-to-point connections and printed components . The main function of the PCB is to make various electronic components form the connection of the predetermined circuit, which plays the role of relay transmission. It is the key electronic interconnection of electronic products and is known as the “mother of electronic products”.

There are many types of PCB products, which can be classified according to the substrate material, the number of conductive pattern layers, downstream application industries or products, etc.

Different Types of PCBs

  • Classification according to substrate material

According to the softness characteristics of the base material, PCBs can be divided into rigid boards, flexible boards, and rigid-flex boards.

  • Classification according to the number of layers of conductive patterns and technical characteristics

According to the number of conductive pattern layers, PCBs are generally divided into single-sided PCB, double-sided and multi-layered boards. With the development of light, thin, short and miniaturized electronic products becoming more and more obvious, multi-layer boards are gradually developing in the direction of high-level, high-precision, high-density, and various special new multi-layer boards have appeared, such as HDI boards. , IC carrier board, etc.

Based on the particularity of new products such as HDI boards and IC carrier boards, HDI boards, IC carrier boards and traditional multi-layer boards are usually distinguished and classified separately. Thus, PCB products are divided into single-sided, double-sided, traditional multi-layer boards, HDI boards, and IC carrier boards.

  • Classification according to the application industry or product

PCBs can also be divided into consumer boards, industrial boards, medical boards, military aerospace boards and other categories according to different downstream application fields; or according to different downstream specific application products, PCBs can be divided into TV boards, computer boards, Power board, mobile phone board, chip packaging board, automotive board, LED board, etc.

Policy environment for PCB industry development

Electronic information industry is a strategic, basic and leading pillar industry for China’s key development, and the PCB industry, as the cornerstone of the development of the electronic information industry, has become one of the projects encouraged by China . In recent years, China has promulgated policies such as “Encouraging Imported Technologies and Products (2016 Edition)), “Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog (2019 Edition)” and other policies to encourage the development of the PCB industry.

Electronic information industry is a pillar industry of China

In addition, a series of industrial policies such as the “New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021-2035)” and “Dual Gigabit Network Coordinated Development Action Plan (2021-2023)” have been promulgated to support and guide the development of 5G communications, new energy vehicles and other fields, thus promoting the development of the PCB industry. The support of Chinese policies will provide a broad development space for the PCB industry and help the PCB industry to transform and upgrade.

Development history of PCB industry

China’s PCB industry can be roughly divided into four stages: the initial development period, the rapid development period, the continuous growth period and the advanced development period. In 1956, China started PCB research and development.

With the introduction of foreign technology, the introduction of foreign-funded enterprises, and the transfer of PCB production capacity in Europe and the United States, China became the world’s largest and fastest-growing PCB production base in 2006. With the development of application terminals in the direction of intelligence, thinness, multi-function and high performance, China’s PCB industry is currently developing towards high-end.

The current situation of PCB industry

China has become a global PCB manufacturing center

Benefiting from the transfer of global PCB production capacity to China and the vigorous development of downstream electronic terminal products, China’s PCB industry as a whole shows a rapid development trend. According to statistics, China’s PCB output value in 2021 is 77.69 billion US dollars, and the global output value is 116.45 billion US dollars, with China accounting for 66.72%. With the rapid development of industries such as 5G, big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, as well as the advantages of industrial support and cost, it is expected that the market share of China’s PCB industry will continue to increase in the future.

The scale of China’s PCB market continues to expand

China's PCB market continues to expand

China has a healthy and stable domestic demand market, and the market scale of China’s PCB industry has been expanding in recent years. At this stage, technological changes such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things are mainly brought about by 5G, which helps the growth of 5G base stations, communication equipment and new energy vehicles, thereby driving the development of the PCB industry. According to statistics, the market size of China’s PCB industry in 2021 will reach 430.755 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 4.36%.

Multilayer boards are the mainstream of the market

At present , China’s PCB industry is in a critical period of iterative upgrading. From the perspective of product structure, multi-layer boards are the mainstream of the PCB market at this stage, accounting for 39.91% in 2021. Secondly, flexible boards and HDI boards also account for a large proportion.

An analysis on PCB industry chain

Structure of PCB industry chain

The upstream of the PCB industry is mainly copper foil, wood pulp paper, resin, glass fiber cloth and other raw material industries. The upstream raw material suppliers mainly include China Jushi, Nanya Plastics, Huaxin Copper Foil and other enterprises; the downstream application fields are very extensive, mainly for consumer electronics, automotive electronics, military aerospace, communications equipment, computers and other industries.


The output of electrolytic copper foil is increasing year by year

Electrolytic copper foil is an important material for copper clad laminates and printed circuit boards. From 2016 to 2021, the output of electrolytic copper foil in China increased year by year, reaching 534,000 tons in 2021, a year-on-year increase of about 9.3%, of which the output of electronic circuit copper foil was 352,000 tons, a year-on-year increase of 4.95%, and the output of lithium battery copper foil was 182,000 tons, a year-on-year increase of 4.95%. An increase of 18.95%.

From the perspective of the glass fiber yarn industry, the output of China’s glass fiber yarn has also continued to grow in recent years. In 2021, the total output of glass fiber yarn in China will reach 6.24 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 15.34%. The continuous increase in the output of electrolytic copper foil and glass fiber yarn has provided sufficient impetus for the development of the PCB industry.


At present, the consumption field of China’s PCB industry is mainly concentrated in the communication field, accounting for 27.79% in 2021. Its application requirements for PCB are mainly in the four major fields of wireless network, transmission network, data communication and fixed network broadband; followed by the computer field, accounting for 23.46%. In addition, the consumption areas of the PCB industry are also concentrated in the fields of automobiles, consumer electronics, industrial electronics, medical equipment, military and aerospace, accounting for 15.88%, 14.67%, 6.45%, 4.61% and 3.91% respectively.

Communication electronics is the main consumer market

As the basic industry of national informatization construction, the communication industry occupies a pivotal position in China’s market economy. In recent years, the national communication industry has developed rapidly. In 2021, China mobile will have 9.96 million base stations, including 5.9 million 4G base stations and 1.425 million 5G base stations. With the advent of the 5G era, the demand for high-frequency/high-speed boards will increase significantly, bringing a new direction for the development of the PCB industry.

A concentration analysis on PCB industry

China’s PCB market has formed a multi-party competition pattern among Taiwan-funded, Hong Kong-funded, US-funded, Japanese-funded and local domestic-funded enterprises. Among them, foreign-funded enterprises generally invest in large scales, and have certain advantages in production technology and product specialization; there are a large number of local domestic-funded enterprises, the industry concentration is low, and the level of industrialization still has great room for improvement.

Avary Holding is the main leader in China’s PCB industry, and its revenue scale is much larger than that of other companies. In 2021, its PCB sales revenue will be 33.315 billion yuan, with a market share of only 7.73%. The total PCB sales revenue of the following twelve companies is 104.436 billion yuan, and the market share is only 24.24%. It can be seen that the concentration of China’s PCB industry needs to be improved.

An analysis on the development trend of PCB industry

Industrial clusters began to shift to the central and western regions

Most of the PCB industry is built around its related downstream industries. At present, Chinese PCB enterprises are mainly distributed in the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Rim and other regions with strong economic advantages, location advantages and talent advantages, showing a cluster development model.

Industrial clusters began to shift to the central and western regions

However, in recent years, due to factors such as rising labor costs and the introduction of relevant support policies in inland areas, the PCB industry has begun to gradually shift to provinces and cities with better inland industrial conditions, such as Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Chongqing and other regions.

Industry will accelerate integration

With the rising labor costs in coastal areas and the continuous improvement of the country’s environmental protection requirements for industrial enterprises, PCB enterprises need to invest more manpower, material resources and financial resources to run smoothly, which will greatly increase the operating costs of enterprises. This will lead to the risk of elimination of enterprises with small scale and weak cost control ability, and the industry integration will be accelerated.

In addition, the upgrading of downstream products also promotes the upgrading of PCB products in the reverse direction, which makes the requirements for the technical research and development strength of PCB enterprises higher and higher. Companies with weak technology R&D and product innovation may also be gradually eliminated in future competition.

High density, flexibility and high integration

PCB with high density, high flexibility and high integration

The continuous development of the downstream electronics industry is driving the PCB industry to develop in the direction of high precision, high density and high integration, continuously reducing the volume, improving performance, increasing bending capabilities such as static bending and dynamic bending, and improving the density and flexibility of PCB wiring. , thereby reducing wiring space constraints.

Sign up for newsletter

Get latest news and update

Newsletter BG