The best, no less for
toughest demands - excelliSCAN
(read this as IP) to assist their ability to compete in the interna-
tional marketplace. It also seeks to guide companies to produce
higher value-added products that are attractive in the competitive
The Chinese government also looked to make breakthroughs
in intelligent manufacturing to improve the quality and efficiency
of supply and stimulate real demand to strengthen new growth
momentum, focus on manufacturing innovation and the integra-
tion of information and manufacturing technologies, boost information technology as well as high-end equipment, and assist growth
in robots and intelligent systems [ 1], all related directly or indirectly
to industrial laser technology. These goals, if accomplished, are
expected to grow Chinese companies’ intellectual property, making them competitive in the marketplace.
Key to the new Five-Year Plan is China’s Belt and Road Initiative,
which encompasses two trade routes that will increase regional
trade and encourage economic cooperation between China and
more than 65 other countries along land and sea routes from
Malaysia to Eastern Europe [ 2]. An investment of more than $900
billion is already committed to build infrastructure networks. China’s
leadership plans to use China’s wealth and industrial know-how
to create a new kind of globalization, dispensing with the rules of
Western-dominated institutions. The outcome is to restructure the
global economic order, bringing countries and companies more
tightly into China’s orbit [ 3]. This initiative may assist in reducing
barriers to China’s penetration into the European laser materials
Even with stimuli from the government, Chinese laser system
manufacturers face some not-so-insignificant barriers to match
and exceed a nominal 5% CAGR. First, the manufacturing cost of
competitive low-power systems may boost current selling prices,
reducing the advantage they now hold. And Chinese systems makers competing against kilowatt-level cutting and welding systems
built to exacting international standards, and backed by appropriate
after-sales service, may not have the selling price advantage they
have now. Also, improved industrial laser technology (UV lasers,
ultrafast lasers, and high-power/high-beam-quality diode lasers)
by other global suppliers is entering the international markets well
ahead of Chinese companies.
However, leading Chinese manufacturers are aware of the chang-
ing market environment. With the aforementioned R&D funding
stimulus, these manufacturers could—with world-class equip-
ment—finesse their way into lucrative, now difficult-to-enter markets, meeting the Chinese government-stated goals of being suppliers of high-value added laser equipment protected by IP rights. ✺
Valuable assistance in preparing this perspective was provided by
Dr. Qitao Lue (Han’s Laser), Dr. Bo Gu (BOS Photonics), and Allen
Nogee (Laser Markets Research).
1. See www.news.cn/english.
2. C. Holton, “China’s Belt and Road Initiative presents serious challenges and opportunities for
photonics companies,” Laser Focus World online (Mar. 2, 2017); https://goo.gl/bxqJiZ.
3. J. Perlez and Y. Huang, “Behind China’s $1 trillion plan to shake up the economic order,” New
York Times (May 13, 2017); https://goo.gl/EJzF86.