China dominates the electronics market.
In the business of Printed Circuit Boards, this is true too.
The electronic component manufacturing ecosystem in China is one of the main reasons why Chinese PCBs are king.
Many companies have long since ceased buying from their native countries.
In this article, we list the 10 biggest PCB companies customers all over the world buy PCBs from.
PCB Manufacturing in China
PCB Manufacturing in China—Updates
Circuit boards are just one of the few electronic products made in China.
Dubbed the world’s factory, China’s mark is on all types of manufactured goods.
Before the COVID pandemic, the global trend of offshoring manufacturing facilities to China was strong.
China now faces challenges due to post-COVID issues, but the manufacturing sector is still strong.
There is growth too, bolstered by the highly skilled work force and the supportive infrastructure.
The future ahead for PCB plants in China is still bright, even accounting for recent years’ troubles with PCB raw materials.
The Top Ten PCB Manufacturers in China
Chinese manufacturers win the global competition as the top nation for PCB manufacturing. They dominate the industry, making approximately half of the world’s supply of circuit boards. In this section, The leading Chinese makers of circuit boards are listed in alphabetical order.
This business was founded in 2008 and has its headquarters in Shenzhen. It is renowned for producing PCBs in quantity, PCBs with a short lead time, and PCB assembly. Additionally, they produce PCBs with microvias, buried vias, and blind vias. After you get in touch with them directly via their website, they can create various kinds of PCBs.
The Electronic Collaborative Manufacturing Service System, or ECMS, is a trademark of this business. With its headquarters in Hangzhou, this company has a massive capacity for PCB production and specializes in Industrial PCB and IOT PCB. Prototype PCBs, multilayer PCBs, HDI PCBs, mobile PCBs and the common variety of PCBs produced in China are further areas of expertise.
This company is known as low to mid volume PCB producer. But it can also make high volume PCBs. This company has a reputation making PCBs for well-known clients like GE and Huawei. They are specialists in circuit boards for consumer electronics. As with most Chinese PCB manufacturers, there is no minimum required order. Other PCBs sold by this company are the usual: prototype PCB, rigid PCBs, HDI PCBs, and the usual PCBs used for computers/laptops.
Similarly headquartered in Shenzhen like a few of the companies in this list is Hitech Circuits. This company makes quick-turn PCBs and envisions itself as the all-in-one solution for customers. They also do component sourcing, high-volume production, and customized PCBs. Aside from the usual PCB offerings, they can do box builds or box build assemble service. Their customers come from all over the world.
This company’s two factories are in Guandong, Jianxi and Jiangsu China. But they have offices in Germany and Hong Kong as well as Shenzhen. The list of customers numbers to the hundreds of thousands, while their production volume is listed as 620,000 square meters per month. They specialize in single-layer, double-layer and multilayer PCBs of all types. Their products outfit the most advanced robotic items as well as smart home electronics.
The company is headquartered in Hangzhou, unlike most of the other top companies listed here. Aside from the basic PCBs produced, they carry PCBs using advanced materials like Rogers, Arlon, and Taconic. They make flexible PCBs and rigid-flex PCBs; they can do the assembly and the SMT mounting too. Their “full feature fabrication” attracts lots of customers that need new types of PCBs built.
This company has a 17,500 square meter spread, with three factories churning out circuit boards. They are capable of fulfilling huge volumes of items, with a very short lead time. Rush orders taking only 24 hours can be completed without a problem. The company is also partners with premium shipping companies like DHL and FedEx, they ship anywhere in the world the usual line of PCBs made in China.
One of the companies that is known for its speed and reliability is PCBMay. Established in 2008, this Shenzen-based company has two factories producing PCBs for any need. For multilayer PCBs, they can make up to 40 layers, while for Large PCBs, they can make up to 59 inches. LED PCBs, monitor PCBs, and PCBs for drones are also their specialties.
This company has a main office in Shenzhen and a smaller office in France to manage its European clients. The main items produced are single-sided PCBs, double-sided PCBs and multilayer PCBs. It has the capacity to make multilayer PCBs for HDI functions, so if you order a high layer count, you won’t be disappointed. Their SMT line is most impressive. They have the usual BGA and QFN, but also QFP, UBGA and SOIC items.
This company has its headquarters in Shenzhen. It is ISO certified for environmental systems management compliance as well as for quality management. Its main products are rigid PCBs, flexible PCBs, rigid-flex PCBs, and HDI PCBs. Aside from PCB items, it also offers itself as an OEM or EMS partner for large corporations. Like all Chinese PCB makers, they are obliged by law to comply with China’s environmental policies.
Advantages of PCB Manufacturers in China
PCBs made in China are preferred by customers all over the world. Fifty percent of PCB customers would go for a China-made PCB over a PCB made elsewhere, even if it is just for one piece. These companies have major advantages over their competitors. The following are the reasons why Chinese PCB makers are used.
Economies of scale makes it possible for Chinese PCB makers to lower costs. A lot of PCBs in Europe are actually made in China. Compared to the past few decades the production of PCBs was centered in Europe and Japan. Now, China has major share of the market. This trend will still continue to be true do so despite current woes. Low cost but high quality is the selling point of all Chinese PCB makers competing for the top rank in the Chinese PCB industry.
They Make PCBs Fast
Chinese PCB manufacturers deliver good faster than their counterparts in Europe or US. Even if you factor in the speed of transporting the goods, your order would arrive faster if it is made in China. US or European PCB makers would take weeks to make a PCB, whereas a Chinese manufacturer can make it in 24 hours. There is also lower risk of running low on raw materials, as all the raw materials are typically found in China. A PCB would have many components attached to it, and chances are, all of these attachments can be found near the factory of the PCB. A great example of this is Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of China.
Skilled PCB Workforce
Skilled PCB Workforce
To answer the demand for manufacturing goods in bulk, the education system of China trains prospective employees regularly. Vocational and technical training is supported by the Chinese government. It can be availed of for free, so many young people take advantage of it. Engineers in China specialize not only in electronics but robotics and other advanced applications. Chances are, the employees you interface with who works in a Chinese manufacturing plant are globally competent.
Built-in Manufacturing Ecosystem
Satisfaction in the built-in economic ecosystem is silently felt anytime a customer orders an electronic device that has multiple parts. A PCB is usually a component of another device. Some of the PCB companies named actually not only offer PCBs, but electric wires as well. A vast network of related companies work together to fulfill an order, cooperating sometimes rather than competing, even if they are in the same industry. This ecosystem is not replicated in a grand scale outside China.
Prototyping and Reverse Engineering Done Well
Working on prototypes is one of the most important tasks of any PCB engineer. This is especially true if we talk about new product development. PCB manufacturers in China can make prototypes as fast as 24 hours, and this is the norm, especially in Shenzhen. The same job may be completed three days in Europe or US. Another special service the Chinese are capable of doing is taking an existing PCB and reverse engineering it. This is very useful if, for example, the original Gerber files are lost, or the piece is a legacy item.
Challenges of Chinese PCB Manufacturers
Using Chinese PCB manufacturers has a lot of advantages. But some customers still avoid the Chinese factories. Here are the following reasons why. We can consider them the disadvantages Chinese consumers have compared to PCB makers in other countries/regions.
Advanced PCB Solutions Tend to Come from the US or Europe
The most advanced circuit boards are developed by Germany and the USA. Both usually begin trends, and China just follows afterwards. Chinese PCB manufacturers may lag behind their counterparts this way. Some Chinese manufacturers also do not have the capacity to fulfill highly specialized PCBs. The best example of this are specific PCBs for German automotive items. Some of these special products are only made by German PCB makers.
Fears Surrounding Environmental Care
European customers need to follow RoHS directives. Most Chinese companies abide by these, as well as ISO standards. But sometimes, worries lurk in the mind about the claims of Chinese manufacturers. There is a widespread perception that the Chinese make a lot of carbon waste, and they need to improve on this score. To catch up with more progressive countries, there is a clamor to lighten China PCB makers’ carbon footprint.
Longer Supply Chain / Logistic Concerns
Asian PCB makers like the Chinese need to transport the goods long distances. The longer supply chain is prone to breakdowns at several points. The rising cost of fuel also raises transportation costs, which add to the total expenditure of the customer. Some customers have actually reshored their production to cut down transportation costs. After COVID, supply chain problems have become more prominent in the business world.
English is not a major spoken language in China. Many Chinese can speak business English, but it’s unavoidable that some miscommunication may occur. Chinese PCB makers also tend to ship their items with documentation written in Chinese. Some are translated, but badly so. Chinese PCB makers have improved their web content for their company websites, however. Salespeople are also trained to communicate in English. The concern can be compounded when Chinese speaking in English speak with Europeans who also are not very good in English.
Recent Concerns Regarding COVID
Because of government policies in China, some operational aspects of Chinese PCB manufacturers may be affected. The Zero COVID policy in place in China means that plants are in danger of being shut down due to community lockdowns. Many customers are affected by this, primarily through delays in deliveries. These concerns may cause customers to use other suppliers in their own countries or suppliers elsewhere in Asia.
Best Types of PCB to Buy from Chinese Manufacturers
The short answer is, any type of PCB is available in China. Even the most advanced PBs including the following is best sourced from China:
- Quick-turn PCB – PCBs that are easily produced in large quantities. Chinese manufacturers excel in this, especially panelized PCBs, jump-cut PCBs, V-cut or V-scoring PCBs
- Any layer of PCB – this covers the single-sided PCB, double-sided PCB, and multilayer PCBs. Some companies are capable of making 40 Layer PCBs, and some can even make 80 Layer PCBs.
- Aluminum and LED PCB – PCBs for lighting like Led Strips, Led Chasers, LED panels and other lighting solutions
- Metal Core, High Tg, Mid-Tg and normal Tg PCBs – these are used in power applications and telecom industry settings
However, if you are buying PCBs for the military sectors, using China-made PCBs may face some regulatory limits. As well, individual companies might have preferences for certain PCB makers based on their native countries.
Here is a video about types of PCBs typically made in China:
How to Choose a Good PCB Manufacturer
In order to deliver a superior product that can perform to its full potential, you need a company that strictly follows environmental safety legislation and international standards as a responsible producer and PCB manufacturer.
The company should also be one of the top sources, as named in this article.
Having been in this industry for more than 5-20 years would be a good indication that the PCB company is a dependable one.
Your PCB producer should assure you that if you encounter any issues, they will provide you with a complete report.
Regarding all your PCB services and goods, there should be a very low occurrence of failure.
To find out more about how a PCB company like this can satisfy your needs, get in touch with us, PCBTok.
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“Made in China” has long since been an indication of good quality, especially in electronics. The Chinese’s strong position globally indicates that more and more, customers trust circuit boards made in China. It is up to every customer to decide what is best for the bottom line. But in terms of advantages, these outweigh the disadvantages, making it more attractive to choose a Chinese supplier. If you are in doubt, you can always compare two batches of PCBs, or just go through the ordering process. Then, decide based on your results.