Most Chinese 3D printing companies are struggling to survive

3D printing technology deemed unprofitable in China

Staff Reporter


The hype surrounding 3D printing technology has created market uncertainty in China as unauthorized copies of Western printers have flooded the market. The industry’s progress is being hampered by is its unclear positioning and low product quality. As a result, the Shanghai-based National Business Daily found that most domestic 3D printing companies were struggling to survive.An international IT industry expo kicked off in Guangzhou on Aug. 15 in which local 3D printing technology was showcased with two new 3D printers drawing heavy visitor attention.

Yet precious few individuals in the industry have an in-depth understanding of how the technology works. At an IT summit held in Shenzhen in March, only a handful of senior managers out of over 100 participants were able to share their knowledge about 3D printing.

Deng Yixiang, general manager of DNS Power, told reporters that most manufacturers had merely produced 3D printers without ample understanding of market demand. When a new product was manufactured it failed quickly because it failed to meet consumers’ expectations.

China’s 3D printing technology has primarily been copied from abroad through reverse engineering, say insiders. If fake machines were poor quality they could be sold at lower prices, but the money producers made barely covered the cost of manufacturing. As a result of poor product performance and a lack of understanding about market demand, the number of surviving 3D printer makers has been dwindling. Should producers learn to create value and meet market demands, the losses can be reversed.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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