An established industrial support system and ready market fuel growth in the line.
Guangdong province’s rich supply chain for electronic products and related accessories and peripherals has helped transform the area into China’s major sourcing center for power banks. In particular, makers are benefiting from its status as the country’s largest manufacturer of lithium batteries. In 2010, total output of the latter hit $2.4 billion, representing more than 50 percent of the nation’s aggregate yield. Guangdong exported 354.6 million units in the first nine months of 2011, or 39 percent of China’s outbound shipments.
There are currently more than 500 makers in the province, most of which also offer power supplies and lithium batteries, the key components of power banks. The cities of Shenzhen and Dongguan are the loci of development and production activities, with the first accounting for about 70 percent of the manufacturing base. The others are found in Guangzhou and Zhongshan.
Guangdong Pisen Electronics Co. Ltd, Shenzhen Yoobao and Shenzhen Hali-Power are among the province’s top players. Easy access to materials and components enables Guangdong-based power bank makers to reduce production costs. Because of this, numerous enterprises have set up component sourcing departments in the area.
There are various battery suppliers in Guangdong, including China Bak, Shenzhen B&K, Dongguan Shanshan, Dongguan Amperex and Mcnair. They offer Li-ion and Li-polymer variants, allowing power bank manufacturers to diversify selections. Battery cells from foreign providers such as Samsung and Sanyo are likewise available. Some enterprises can produce the component in-house.
Power management, protection and control ICs are also in rich supply. These are typically obtained from international companies such as Atmel, Texas Instruments or Intersil, which have branches in the province. Technical cooperation is possible given the close proximity of local and foreign players.
Aside from an established raw material and component network, Guangdong plays host to various service providers. The area has many third-party design houses that offer circuit architecture and solutions.
Guangdong’s status as the largest consumer electronics base in China puts it at the center of R&D trends. With this advantage, suppliers of power banks in the province are able to develop units that meet the requirements of the latest devices. Companies can upgrade selections within a month.
Some makers, however, prefer inland provinces to Guangdong, citing the high labor cost in the latter. To lower overhead, several have moved to emerging hubs such as Sichuan province.
Some manufacturers in Guangdong are seeing a drop in profits as a result of climbing material outlay. Foreign providers of lithium carbonate increased rates by 20 percent, prompting local suppliersof the material to raise costs by 5 percent.
The influx of more players has intensified rivalry and resulted in thinner margins. To remain competitive, makers have decreased prices of entry-level products to $10 or below. Mainstream models go for $15 to $30.
A strengthening yuan and inflation have likewise eroded profits.
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