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Chinese study on wide format market

InfoTrends has released a comprehensive study of the Chinese wide format printing market.

Wide Format in China offers subscribers a solid understanding of China’s market structure, the opportunities and challenges it presents, and advice on making more informed business decisions in the years ahead.

The sheer size of the Chinese wide format market represents a substantial opportunity for printing system and supplies manufacturers. InfoTrends projects that hardware revenues will increase at a compound annual growth rate of almost 12% annually, rising from over $210 million in 2007 to over $380 million in 2012. In addition, the market for inkjet inks is expected to grow from $130 million in 2007 to more than $187 million by 2012.

At the same time, however, the domestic manufacturers of printers, ink, and media and the large additional wide format print capacity from Chinese printing establishments have created one of the most competitive environments in the world. The highly competitive market conditions point to a need for absolute excellence in terms of business planning and execution. InfoTrends believes that effective competition in the Chinese market will require strategic action in 3 major categories – product costs, effective channel management, and considerable market education on key applications.

End users and dealers both indicated that price is a primary consideration for end users when evaluating equipment and supplies for wide format digital graphics printing. Therefore, whether they do so by partnering with domestic Chinese manufacturers or seeking other Asian or developing market partners for manufacturing, it is clear that many western and Japanese manufacturers need to reduce manufacturing costs to bring price-competitive products to market in China.

InfoTrends believes that effectively managing the distribution channel can play a large role in helping manufacturers take their products successfully to market in China. End users stated that they often require expertise and support from graphic arts equipment and supplies dealers.

Lastly, wide format equipment and supplies manufacturers should attempt to provide market education to dealers in the Chinese wide format market. This market education should focus more on the applications and the income potential of value-added services such as sign and graphic installation. Strong application training will provide additional market growth for vendors who focus on emerging applications in China.

Research for the study included a combination of secondary and primary sources to determine the barriers and market requirements for wide format printing systems in China. This research was critical in assessing the current state and strategic direction for wide format operations, including size, brand share, product requirements, and perceptions about unmet market needs and emerging opportunities.

InfoTrends conducted 150 structured telephone interviews with print providers. This data is helpful, as it reveals certain usage trends that can be compared to more established market data to gain additional perspective on the operating environment in China for wide format equipment and supplies manufacturers. InfoTrends conducted in-depth interviews with dealers of wide format digital graphics printing equipment in China. The dealer interviews provided an additional level of understanding in terms of the growth possibilities in the Chinese wide format printing market. The final piece of research involved in-depth interviews with some of the leading equipment manufacturers in the global wide format equipment and supplies manufacturing markets. While China certainly has a large number of domestic manufacturers, many global hardware, ink, and media companies also contribute to the dynamic Chinese wide format printing market.