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PCB Industry in East Asia


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Overview of the PCB Industry Landscape

With dramatic changes in the electronics industry, mobile devices quickly overtook the PC and NB (notebook) markets. This shift presents a significant challenge for the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) industry. High production costs have caused the Japanese PCB industry to gradually withdraw from the bulk market. Instead, they have turned to higher value-added applications such as automotive, medical, and other specialized areas, leading PCB technology globally.

Japanese PCB Industry: A Shift to High-Value Applications

Due to historical factors between China and Japan, Japanese PCB companies have shifted their investments across the entire Asian region rather than focusing solely on mainland China. They are now leaders in automotive and medical PCB technology.

Taiwan's PCB Industry: From Expansion to Innovation

The Taiwanese PCB industry has transitioned from merely expanding production capacity to adopting advanced business models. Taiwanese companies actively invest in high-tech processes like multilayer HDI (High-Density Interconnection) and Any-Layer HDI. In Taiwan's PCB total output value:

1. IC Substrate accounts for 34.5%.

2. Multilayer PCB makes up 24.8%.

3. Flexible PCB represents 13.6%.

Several major Taiwanese PCB manufacturers are investing heavily in fully automated processes and focusing on developing new technologies.

South Korea's PCB Industry: Mobile Device Focus

The Korean PCB industry primarily focuses on IC substrates for mobile devices, flexible PCBs, and HDI manufacturing. In South Korea, Flex PCBs account for 23% of the overall PCB production value, while IC substrate boards make up 27%. South Korean PCB factories are mainly based in Korea, with limited investment in China. They have a complete PCB industrial chain, including upstream materials and equipment, positioning them as a comprehensive PCB industry group.

Top PCB Manufacturers in East Asia

The top 20 PCB manufacturers are concentrated in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States. Taiwan currently boasts six companies in this top tier. Notably, Unimicron from Taiwan holds the top global position, with Zhen Ding Tech from Foxconn ranking third.


The PCB industry in East Asia is characterized by regional specializations and strategic shifts in investment and production focus. Japan's move towards high-value applications, Taiwan's innovation in production processes, and South Korea's mobile device-centric approach collectively shape the dynamic landscape of the PCB industry.

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