Market Report Analysis and perspective of China's industrial laser market

| Author / Editor: Industry investment alliance of military and civilian integration / Susanne Hertenberger

China – Various laser applications were developed as the laser industry grew in the period 2015-2016 and some unpopular applications have indeed become popular.

Changes of Market Shares of Various Laser Applications in China
Changes of Market Shares of Various Laser Applications in China
(Bild: Industry investment alliance of military and civilian integration)

The market share of various laser applications has changed and the current share distribution of laser applications can be calculated based on the products and sales of most laser enterprises nationwide. People often say that laser marking occupies half of the industry. Actually, the earlier industrial laser application in China started from simple laser marking (including laser engraving) and then developed to cutting, welding, etc.

In 2005, laser marking took up more than 65% of the market share and there was no optical fibre laser cutting machine then. The metal-plate industry gradually popularised laser cutting (mainly YAG and CO2 laser cutting) and the market share of laser cutting was about 20%. In 2015, the market share of laser marking was lower than 40% and the share of laser cutting and laser welding increased.

The laser industry in China grew quickly in the first half year of 2016 and the half-yearly reports of some listed laser companies were also encouraging: Han's Laser achieved a year-on-year growth of 22.69%, HG-Tech achieved a year-on-year growth of 30.43%, U.W.Laser recorded a year-on-year growth of 70.55% and Tian Hong Laser recorded a year-on-year growth of 10.9%. It was said that the short supply situation of fibre lasers and ultraviolet lasers occurred in the industry. Many manufacturers received more orders and had to extend their delivery dates.

It was foreseeable that the development in the laser industry would have gradually improved in 2016 and the following years, and will be more healthy and stable than that in the past. The R&D ability in local companies is stronger with a larger capacity and improved sales and service networks.

In the laser industry, foreign companies, especially those from first world countries like Germany and America, are faced with larger challenges in China because of these developed local companies. Trumpf’s performance in China for the fiscal year of 2015/16 was €360m, suffering a reduction of 2% on year-on-year basis; IPG Photonics, another big player, achieved a performance increase of 4% only in the second quarter of 2016 in China, instead its quarterly/annual increase of 20% in the past years, having had the lion's share China's fibre laser market.

Based on the fact that the laser industry in China ushered its best development after 2011 through to 2016, it is predicted that the growth of the Chinese laser industry could be over 20% in 2016. By seizing the opportunity of the government's vigorously promoted intelligent manufacturing plan, “Made in China 2025”, it is hopeful for the Chinese laser industry to continue the rapid development in 2017.

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