JW Insights: Chinese PCB suppliers are moving production to Thailand as a result of geopolitical changes
Chinese article by 李杭森
English Editor 张未名
04-07 16:41

By Li Panpan

(JW Insights) Apr 7 -- Chinese PCB suppliers are moving production to Thailand, asked by clients to avoid being affected by geopolitical changes, said a recent JW Insights report.

The Chinese mainland has become the most critical PCB production base, accounting for more than half of the worldwide production capacity.

However, with continuing geopolitical changes in recent years, some clients hope to transfer their orders out of the Chinese mainland.

Major American manufacturers, including Apple, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, have successively requested their production and supply chains to move out of the Chinese mainland. Dell appears the most aggressive. It requires that starting from 2025, 60% of the notebook supplied by Dell in the US market must be produced in factories outside the Chinese mainland, and by 2027, none of its notebooks for the US market will be assembled in the Chinese mainland.

Southeast Asia has become the destination for PCB manufacturers to transfer their production. Chinese PCB companies, such as WUS Printed Circuit (沪电股份), ASK PCB(奥士康), China Eagle Electronic (中京电子), Sihui Fuji Electronics (四会富仕), JOVE Circuit (中富电路), Sunshine PCB(明阳电路) and Victory Giant Technology (胜宏科技), plan to build factories in Southeast Asia.

Wang Xianfeng, the general manager of Jove Circuit, admitted that his company's investment in Thailand is mainly based on customers’ needs, and the company started to consider it two years ago.

Victory Giant Technology said it had conducted detailed inspections in Vietnam and other places. The factory built there mainly supports overseas customers, and the company's export ratio has reached more than 60%.

Zhang Peike, chairman of Sunshine PCB, stated at a public meeting that Thailand and Malaysia are key countries to invest in Southeast Asia, considering their personnel, logistics, industrial chain, geographical advantages, and transportation costs.

Malaysia has attracted packaging substrate manufacturers like AT&S, Ibiden, and Simmtech to build factories one after another. Thailand is the preferred destination for manufacturers of traditional PCB products such as single-sided boards/double-layer boards and multi-layer boards.

Thailand established the Printed Circuit Board Association (THPCA) in 2019. According to its official website, the country’s PCB industry accounts for over 1% of global PCB production. THPCA has 19 members, including KCE, Gravitech, Mektec, Panasonic, and Atotech.

Since the second half of 2022, with the continuous improvement of local industrial facilities, the trend of Chinese A-share listed PCB companies investing and building factories in Thailand has become even stronger.

WUS Printed Circuit announced to establish a Thai subsidiary and build a new production base there in June 2022.

After that, ASK PCB, China Eagle Electronic, and Sihui Fuji Electronics announced similar plans and moves.

So far, more than 20 global PCB companies plan to invest and set up factories in Thailand or have already landed there. They include Chinese mainland, Taiwanese and Japanese manufacturers.

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