PCB market rebounding, Made in China takes the lead

PCB market rebounding, Made in China takes the lead

The printed circuit board PCB, known as the “mother of electronic products”, has recently regained its strength. Previously, due to the sluggishness of the consumer electronics industry, the demand in the PCB market once declined. Since October this year, with the overall improvement in the orders of the Android camp’s complete machine assembly link, multiple innovation directions have given birth to new PCB growth machines.

According to research data released by a number of securities companies, the PCB industry chain continues to expand, and its position in multiple application markets such as substrates, servers, and automobiles continues to increase. With the continuous acceleration of innovation and upgrading of consumer electronics products in the future, relevant manufacturers in the PCB industry chain will also simultaneously gain more room for development.

Table of Contents

China has become the global PCB industry development center

As an important part of the consumer electronics industry, a printed circuit board (PCB) refers to a functional board that uses printing technology to form conductive circuit patterns or printed components on an insulating substrate according to a predetermined design. Its function is to realize the interconnection and relay transmission between electronic components, so it is an essential basic component of electronic information products.

After years of development and evolution, PCB has derived many category systems according to the softness of the substrate, the number of layers of the conductive pattern, and the classification of special products, forming a huge market.

From the perspective of application field, advanced communication and computer are still the core market of PCB. Taking the industry data in 2021 as an example, the largest downstream application of the global PCB industry is the communication field, with a market share of 32%; the second and third are the computer industry and the consumer electronics industry, with market shares of 24% and 15%.

In the past two years, affected by the iterative acceleration of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things, and cloud storage, electronic product technology has become more and more high-end, which has also driven the market to pursue higher-performance, higher-capacity communication equipment and servers. Therefore, in advanced communications, computers, and even automotive electronics and consumer electronics markets, PCBs have broad application space.

PCB industry

From the perspective of the global industrial structure, China’s PCB industry has developed rapidly in the past eight years. Data show that from 2014 to 2021, China’s PCB output value soared from US$26.2 billion to US$44.2 billion. Especially since 2016, the proportion of China’s PCB output value in the world has always remained above 50%. With the continuous deepening of the transfer of the PCB industry, the proportion of China’s PCB output value is also increasing.

According to CINNO Research data, in 2021, there will be as many as 62 Chinese companies among the top 100 PCB companies in the world, accounting for more than 60%. Among them, the number of top 100 PCB companies in mainland China accounts for nearly 40%. In addition to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, the top 100 PCB companies in East Asia account for more than 90%, far ahead of other countries and regions. 

Overall, Chinese companies on the list not only account for the largest share of revenue, but also continue to increase their core competitiveness. It is no exaggeration to say that China has become the center of the global PCB industry.

China’s PCB industry is developing towards environmental protection

After continuous development and evolution, the PCB industry chain pattern has stabilized. Among them, the upstream of the industrial chain is the raw material supply end, which mainly involves the two major raw materials of copper clad laminate and adhesive sheet; the middle reaches of the industrial chain is the base material chain, and the copper clad laminate is made of raw materials such as copper foil, epoxy resin and glass fiber cloth.

The downstream of the chain is the application market, involving advanced communications, computers, consumer electronics, automotive electronic systems and other fields.

Looking at all links in the industrial chain, “Made in China” is still the leading force. In terms of raw materials, the output value of China’s top five CCL enterprises (Kingboard Laminates, Shengyi Technology, Jin’an Guoji, Nanya New Materials, and Huazheng New Materials) accounts for 34% of the world’s total. Let’s talk about the midstream base material manufacturing end.

For the production of PCB core base material copper-clad laminates, the glass fiber yarn industry is an important part. Among the world’s six industry giants, Chinese companies account for half of the country (global CR6 companies are CJushi ,OC,NEG,CTG,CPIC,JM). In the Chinese market, the production capacity of local CR3 ( Jushi,CTG,CPIC) companies accounts for more than 60% of the country’s total production capacity, which further highlights the market dominance of leading companies.

CCL manufacturers

Leading enterprises will benefit with the market heating up

Since China’s local PCB industry has first-class market competitiveness in the world, under the background of this round of industrial heat, related companies in China’s industrial chain have also become the biggest beneficiaries.

In particular, leading echelon companies in the industry with a complete industrial layout and market channels are also aiming at their own subdivision tracks, and have made sufficient efforts in technology research and development and capacity expansion.

PCB market heating up

Since the beginning of this year, Fastprint has seized the opportunity of the industry’s recovery and continued to expand its production capacity. Its annual production capacity of tens of millions of packaging substrates in Zhuhai is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Since most of the enterprise customer groups are leading enterprises or leading enterprise customers in the downstream industry, and the PCB business and semiconductor business customer resources overlap with each other, Fastprint, which focuses on one-stop service features, is expected to further increase its market share in the global market.

semiconductor business


With the rapid development of electronic information technology, the upgrading speed of electronic products is accelerating. 

In order to meet the functional requirements of “miniaturization, portability and multi-function” of new electronic products, PCB products are also developing in the direction of high density, high performance and environmental protection , which has also become the core direction of PCB industry innovation this year.Affected by this core trend, the innovation direction of the entire PCB industry chain is becoming increasingly clear. 

For example, the packaging substrate and server application markets require new PCBs to have higher layers of PCB board and lower profile copper foils, while new application markets such as automotive electronics require high current and high voltage. These new market demands have also become innovations for major companies. Standards for upgrades and industry input.

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