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China Print

Jul 1, 2013 12:00 AM


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GLOBAL MARKETS
BY AMERICAN PRINTER STAFF

CHINA PRINT IS (ALMOST) SECOND TO NONE
MASSIVE SHOW SIGNALS CHINA’S GROWING ROLE IN THE INDUSTRY

China Print 2013 took place in Beijing from May 14 to 18. With more than 180,000 attendees, and in excess of 1,000 exhibitors spread across 1.7 million square feet, the show is now firmly established as the largest printing event in Asia and the second largest in the world.

HAVE WE MET BEFORE?

Familiar names dominated the aisles, with Heidelberg, Komori, KBA, and Man Roland holding down the offset front while Canon, Fuji, HP, Kodak and Ricoh prevailed on the digital side. Of course, domestic manufacturers such as Shanghai Electric (Goss), Founder group, Masterwork and others were there, too.

“With the exception of HP, there were no really big booths,” reports Ralph Nappi, President of NPES. “There were fewer US companies than I expected, given that this is the biggest growth market in the world for printing equipment.”

At China Print 2009, Nappi recalled seeing a lot of screening printing equipment. “There was no t-shirt equipment at this show in 2013,” he says. “Clearly a transition is taking place. We’re starting to see more interest in higher-technology capital equipment. The upper quartile of Chinese printers clearly recognizes the future of print is going to be digital. The interest in packaging equipment is also strong.”

Nappi says the infrastructure is impressive. To the China Print Show Company’s credit, this is no longer a developing show,” he says. “You walk into that hall and you can see this is a professional event—there are no problems with electricity, lights or air. It’s a world-class exhibition facility.”

WELCOME TO OUR WORLD

Despite the Chinese market’s impressive growth, it isn’t immune from consolidation. “I saw some statistics indicating the number of printers has decreased by 2% and that the employee base has been reduced by 13% during 2010–2011,” Nappi says. “There’s the realization that double-digit growth won’t last forever. Chinese printers are realizing they must run their businesses for profitability and not for volume. They are learning to be capitalists!”

BEIJING, HERE WE COME

It’s entirely possible that China Print will someday surpass drupa as the largest international show in the graphic arts industry. But drupa, which drew 314,500 attendees from more than 130 countries, currently has the international edge. Although China Print attracted visitors from Taiwan, the Philippines, and India, as well as Central and South America and Russia, it is still very much a domestic show. Nonetheless, the Chinese market is growing at an enviable rate—we will have to revisit this question in 2016!

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE SHOW

InfoTrend’s Jim Hamilton offers this summary of China Print activities:

  • MasterWork and Taichuan demonstrated a sheetfed UV inkjet-based digital color printer with a print width of 420 millimeters.
  • Fujifilm handed Jet Press 720 print samples.
  • HP had two Indigo 10000 units on the show floor and is offering them through multiple Chinese distribution channels including Founder, InfoTech, and Syntax.
  • Konica Minolta and Komori had tabletop displays promoting the KM-1 and ES-29 respectively. Konica Minolta said that the KM-1 would be demonstrated at Print 2013.
  • Landa Corp. did not exhibit but showed samples demonstrating ongoing print quality improvements. Landa is heading for beta testing of the B1-format model (the S10C for commercial printing and the S10FC for folding carton) in Q1 2014.

A CHANGING COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

By Regis Delmontagne, Delmontagne & Company, LLC

In 1978, the Chinese printing industry output value was only 4.8 billion RMB (6 RMB equals US $1). By the end of 2011, that number had reached 868 billion RMB, making China the second largest printing market in the world after the US.

REMARKABLE ANNUAL GROWTH
There are more than 102,000 printing enterprises with more than 3.5 million employees. Of these enterprises, 47,000 focus on packaging (46% of total), with an output value of 632 billion RMB (72% of total) and a remarkable 20.5% annual growth rate; 6,800 focus on publication printing (6.8% of total), with an output value of 131.3 RMB (15% of total) and a 0.94% annual growth rate; and 48,000 focus on other printing markets (47% of total) with an output value of 106.4 RMB (12% of total) and a 15% annual growth rate.

WINNING MORE DOMESTIC WORK

Rising domestic labor and transportation costs coupled with significantly cheaper labor costs in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia mean Chinese printers are facing increased competition. The Chinese industry can no longer look to a Western market to increase their bottom lines. The domestic market is where they must compete.