2023 China Printed Circuit Board Industry Research Report

How Are Multilayer PCBs Different from Single-Layer PCBs?


Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), hailed as the “mother of electronic products,” serve as the cornerstone of the modern electronic industry. PCBs play a pivotal role in electronic devices by connecting various electronic components, transmitting signals, and providing mechanical support. With the continuous advancement of technology, the PCB industry is also undergoing development and transformation. This article aims to analyze the current situation, technological trends, business models, policy regulations, and future outlook of China’s PCB industry in 2023.

Chapter 1: Industry Overview

1.1 Industry Introduction

PCBs, or Printed Circuit Boards, form the backbone of modern electronics, facilitating the interconnection of various electronic components in a compact and efficient manner. Their diversity extends across multiple dimensions, including materials, structures, and layer counts, reflecting the versatile needs of industries ranging from consumer electronics to aerospace technologies. The classification of PCBs according to these standards underscores their adaptability to different applications and underscores their ubiquitous presence in today’s technological landscape. Moreover, the quality control measures and technological advancements within the PCB industry serve as pivotal benchmarks for evaluating the overall development level of a country or region’s electronic information industry. As such, the evolution and refinement of PCB manufacturing processes not only signify technological prowess but also contribute significantly to the advancement of diverse sectors, ensuring the seamless integration of electronics into our daily lives while propelling innovation forward.

1.2 Development History

China’s PCB industry has undergone a remarkable evolution characterized by three distinct stages: the germination period, the startup period, and the rapid development period. Notably, since 2002, China has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the output value of its PCB industry, propelling it to the forefront as the world’s largest PCB production base. This meteoric rise has been accompanied by unparalleled advancements in technological development, positioning China as the most dynamic hub for PCB innovation globally. The rapid expansion of the industry has been fueled by a combination of factors, including strategic investments in research and development, robust manufacturing capabilities, and a conducive business environment. This growth trajectory underscores China’s pivotal role in shaping the future of the global electronics market, as its PCB industry continues to drive innovation, foster collaboration, and meet the evolving demands of diverse sectors worldwide.

1.3 Current Status

The global PCB industry’s upward trajectory finds a focal point in China, where the convergence of emerging technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and autonomous driving is fueling unprecedented demand for PCBs. This surge in demand underscores China’s pivotal role as a driving force behind the industry’s continuous growth. The Chinese PCB market is experiencing a rapid expansion, with its output value and technological sophistication attaining prominent positions on the global stage. This burgeoning trend underscores China’s capacity to not only meet but also lead in addressing the evolving needs of industries worldwide. As China remains at the forefront of technological innovation and manufacturing prowess, its PCB industry stands poised to further accelerate, catering to the demands of an increasingly interconnected and technologically advanced world.

Chapter 2: Business Models and Technological Development

2.1 Industry Chain

The upstream of China’s PCB industry chain is mainly raw material supply, the midstream is PCB manufacturing, and the downstream is application fields. Fluctuations in raw material prices directly affect midstream production costs and market competitiveness. China occupies an important position in the global copper clad laminate industry, but still faces challenges in the high-end market.

2.2 Business Models

China’s PCB industry showcases a myriad of business models, reflecting its adaptability and service capabilities to meet diverse market needs. These models encompass design and manufacturing (ODM), manufacturing services (EMS), original equipment manufacturing (OEM), independent brand merchants (OBM), and technical services. Each model serves a distinct function within the industry ecosystem, highlighting China’s multifaceted approach to catering to global demand for PCB solutions.

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The ODM model emphasizes the integrated design and manufacturing capabilities, offering turnkey solutions to clients seeking customized PCB products. On the other hand, EMS providers focus on manufacturing services, leveraging their expertise in production efficiency and quality control to meet the requirements of various industries. OEMs play a critical role in manufacturing products under the brand names of other companies, contributing to the supply chain of multinational corporations.

Independent brand merchants (OBMs) carve their niche by branding and marketing PCB products independently, catering to specific market segments and consumer preferences. Lastly, technical services providers offer specialized expertise and support, ranging from research and development to consultancy services, thereby enhancing the overall value proposition of China’s PCB industry.

2.3 Technological Development

Technological development trends include miniaturization, high-frequency and high-speed, increased environmental requirements, and rising labor costs. The advancement of 5G communication technology and the rise of the new energy vehicle industry bring new growth opportunities for the PCB industry.

2.4 Policy Regulation

The Chinese government has issued multiple policies and regulations to promote technological innovation and industry upgrades in the PCB sector. Policy regulation reflects the country’s emphasis on manufacturing and its key technologies and materials.

Chapter 3: Industry Valuation, Pricing Mechanism, and Global Leaders

3.1 Driving Factors

The development of China’s PCB industry is propelled by a confluence of factors. Technological innovation serves as a catalyst, driving advancements in manufacturing processes and product quality. Simultaneously, the burgeoning market demand, fueled by the rapid expansion of industries such as telecommunications, automotive, and consumer electronics, provides a strong impetus for industry growth.

Government policies aimed at fostering innovation and supporting domestic industries further bolster the sector’s development. These policies create an enabling environment for companies to invest in research and development, driving technological breakthroughs and enhancing competitiveness on a global scale. Moreover, the presence of a comprehensive industry chain, encompassing raw materials, manufacturing, and distribution, provides a solid foundation for sustained growth and development.

International cooperation and exchange facilitate knowledge transfer and best practices adoption, enriching the industry’s capabilities and fostering collaboration with global partners. Additionally, support from the capital market ensures access to funding for expansion and investment in advanced technologies, contributing to the industry’s resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving market dynamics.

3.2 Industry Risk Analysis

The PCB industry in China encounters a myriad of risks and challenges. These include the pressure to continually innovate technologically to stay competitive in a fast-paced global market. Moreover, stringent environmental regulations pose constraints on manufacturing processes, necessitating investments in eco-friendly practices. International trade frictions exacerbate uncertainties, while fluctuations in raw material prices add financial volatility. Rising labor costs and overcapacity issues compel companies to streamline operations and explore automation solutions. Additionally, industry consolidation and regional transfers further reshape the competitive landscape, requiring strategic adaptation to changing market dynamics. Navigating these multifaceted challenges demands resilience, adaptability, and proactive strategies to ensure the sustained growth and success of China’s PCB industry.

3.3 Key Players in China

LST is at the forefront of China’s dynamic PCB industry, distinguishing itself as a pivotal player in the global electronics manufacturing landscape. Renowned for its unwavering commitment to technological innovation and relentless pursuit of excellence, LST embodies the spirit of advancement and progress within the industry. Leveraging state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and cutting-edge technologies, the company consistently delivers high-quality PCB solutions tailored to meet the evolving demands of diverse sectors worldwide. Moreover, LST’s strategic focus on market expansion and customer-centric approach has fortified its position as a trusted partner for leading electronics companies seeking reliable and innovative PCB solutions. With a proven track record of excellence and a forward-thinking mindset, LST continues to shape the future of electronics manufacturing, driving growth and innovation across the global supply chain.

3.4 Global Key Players

Leading companies in the global PCB industry, such as Cohu, Inc., KLA Corporation, and TTM Technologies, Inc., have made significant contributions to the industry’s development through continuous technological innovation and extensive service provision.


China’s PCB industry holds an important position in the global electronics manufacturing industry chain. With continuous technological progress and market demand changes, Chinese PCB companies are exploring and trying new business models to meet the diversified needs of the market and enhance their competitiveness and market position. In the future, China’s PCB industry is expected to play a greater role in the progress of the global electronic information industry and make a greater contribution to achieving higher quality development.

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