Foreign Brands Dominate 3D Market, Chinese Play Catch Up

Although foreign brands continue to dominate the fast-growing 3D printer market in China, Chinese vendors are catching up and growing faster.

So says IDC who have just launched their China 3D Printing Market Report that provides a market analysis 2014 – 2015, and a forecast for 2016 – 2020.

The top five 3D players in the Chinese 3D printer market, in revenue, are all foreign brands, namely EOS, Stratasys, Renishaw, ZRapid and Solidscape. However, IDC found that Chinese 3D players performed well on the list of top players in the China 3D desktop printer market. Chinese vendors Xery, Flashforge and Beijing Tiertime ranked in the top five, following the top two foreign brands Stratasys (Makerbot) and 3D systems.

Wendy Mok, Research Manager of Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions research at IDC, comments, “Foreign brands’ maturity in the technology, print stability and print quality help them to maintain their top positions in the market. But the gap between foreign brands and local brands is narrowing as local vendors ramp up their effort to improve their printer’s performance and quality.”

It was also interesting to note that the top three Chinese 3D brands (Flashforge, Beijing Tiertime and Winbo) captured 50% of the exports of desktop 3D printers in China. IDC believes the price competitiveness of made-in-China products has helped Chinese companies gain the large export revenue. Also, some Chinese companies, who perform well in the China 3D desktop printer export business, will provide processing services to some foreign brands. This could also be a reason for the large export revenue.

“China vendors who are targeting mid-level to high-end users in China and the foreign market will need to start looking at more than just hardware prices as vendors need to incorporate software and services as part of their portfolios,” added Mok. “Traditionally, the competitive advantage of Chinese brands in the overseas market is their relatively low price as compared with foreign vendors. New users will always opt for cheaper hardware to test out while existing users that have gained the experience and knowledge in integrating 3D printers into their businesses will tend to opt for foreign brands.”

IDC believes 3D printing is one of six innovation accelerators that can speed up digital transformation in the marketplace. With the support from “Made in China 2025” Master Plan and the 13th Five-Year Plan in China, 3D printing is expected to keep growing in the following years. However, if new companies plan to join the game and aim at a success in the 3D printing industry, they will still likely to face lots of challenges.

At IDC’s upcoming Directions 2016 event in Shenzhen, Keith Kmetz, Program Vice President of Imaging, Printing & Document Solutions research at IDC, will deliver a session on “Finding Success in 3D Printing” on 15th April 2016. This session discusses IDC’s 3D printer market vision as well as the tactics to consider for maximizing its potential.

The IDC Asia Pacific/China ICT Direction 2016 Roadshow will be held in Shenzhen, China. Details of this event are shown as follows:
Date:     April 15, 2016
Time:     08:30-16:30
Address: Road 9009, Overseas Chinese Town, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China

Click here
for more information. Click here for registration.

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