A recently released report by I.T. Strategies says China has emerged as a significant contender in the wide- and superwide-format printing market. The country has 23 companies that manufacture wide- and superwide-format printers. Most of these companies bring in less than $1 million annually, and they together had a total revenue of over $100 million in 2002. DGI (a Korean company) leads market share with 27%, followed by Infinity/Hangzhou Honghua (21%), and Yaselan (10%).
With China's internal digital wide-format printing market saturated, the only way for these companies to grow is to go to outside markets. Countries such as Brazil, Russia, and India seem likely targets with their more lax solvent emission controls and quality standards. US and European markets, with their higher standards, will be slower to adopt. According to the report, however, Chinese manufacturers have come to dominate local markets that were once lucrative for established US and Japanese printer OEMs. Just five years ago, 90% of the printers sold in China were imported, a number that has fallen to lass than 10% today.
Chinese OEMs are beginning to recognize that if they want to compete in the lucrative US and European markets, they are going to have to develop new products such as flatbed printers, and are going to have to raise the quality of their products. Watch for China to be more competitive in the US market in the future. (I.T. Strategies: www.it-strategies.com)
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