China Market Insider New Chinese Standards for Machine Vision

| Author / Editor: Henrik Bork* / Ahlam Rais

China is introducing standards for machine vision. Export controls for high technology have been tightened for the first time since 2008.

What is currently moving the market in China and what do German companies need to know? Our 'China Market Insider' provides answers to these questions.
What is currently moving the market in China and what do German companies need to know? Our 'China Market Insider' provides answers to these questions.
(Source: ©Eisenhans - stock.adobe.com)

New terminology standards have been adopted in China in the machine vision industry. At the end of August, the Chinese ‘Machine Vision Industry Union’ (CMVU) published the standard ‘Terminology for industrial digital cameras’ and the standard ‘Terminology for industrial camera lenses’, reports the news portal Sina.com. “The introduction of standards will have far-reaching consequences for China's machine vision industry," comments Sina. Chinese deviations from international standards and the occasional resulting confusion are now a thing of the past. For two years, the industry association worked with an 18-member commission on the formulation of the new standards.

The new standards were issued shortly before an important trade fair for the industry in China. Vision China (Shenzhen) will take place from November 3–5, 2020. The fair, which is becoming more and more important for the Industry 4.0 sector from year to year, will be held in cooperation with Messe München at the ‘Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center’, reports the Chinese edition of MM Maschinen Markt. The leading German trade fair ‘Vision 2020’, on the other hand, was recently cancelled by Messe Stuttgart due to coronavirus.

The trade fair in Shenzhen will highlight the ‘explosive growth’ of the machine vision industry in China, which the specialist portal Weike Wang has reported on. As an international center of the manufacturing industry, China is developing more and more rapidly into one of the most important markets for machine vision, because areas such as automation and robotics can no longer do without ‘artificial eyes’, writes the high-tech portal in a recently published analysis.

By last year, the machine vision market in China had reached a volume of 6.55 billion Chinese Yuan (around 935 million dollars), according to a current market study by the Gaogong Industry Institute. This corresponds to an average growth rate (CGR) of more than 28 % in the past five years. Rapid growth is also predicted for the industry in China in this year as well as the following years. The Gaogong Institute estimates that the market in China will double again in the next three years to 15.56 billion yuan (around 2.2 billion dollars) by 2023.

This is good news for leading international manufacturers such as Cognex and Keyence. But the beneficiaries also include German and Japanese companies, for example in the industrial lenses sector, the German companies Leica, Schneider, and Carl Zeiss, as well as the Japanese companies CBC, Kowa, Nikon and Fuji.

German, Japanese and US-American companies still clearly dominate the Chinese market for high-quality applications of the technology. However, as in other industries, Chinese manufacturers are catching up year by year in the field of machine vision and slowly but surely closing the technology gap with foreigners. To stay with the example of industrial lenses, Chinese companies such as Dongzheng Optics and Mvotem are gradually moving into the high-tech segment of the market, according to a study published in August by the Chinese Qianzhan Institute for Industrial Research.

According to the Industry Research Institute, China is now the third largest market for machine vision applications. Competition in the market is becoming fiercer, and Chinese manufacturers related to machine vision are growing rapidly, writes the Qianzhan Institute. In the field of surveillance technology, for example, the ‘four Chinese dragons’ – Sense Time, Megvii, Cloudwalk and Yitu are making rapid progress, both technically and in terms of capturing market share.

In the field of quality inspection, there are several large Chinese corporations such as Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, as well as a number of start-ups that are increasingly attracting attention. Such positive forecasts for Chinese manufacturers are backed up by hard facts, such as the meteoric increase in equipment investment in the computer vision market in China, a segment of machine vision. From 2016 to 2018 alone, investments in China by computer vision manufacturers have quadrupled to around eight billion US dollars, according to a report by the Gartner agency. "The data also shows that Chinese investors have pumped twenty times as much capital into computer vision in 2020 as in 2016," Gartner writes. China has set its goal of becoming the global market leader in the field of artificial intelligence by 2030, and this in turn has led to a recent significant increase in interest in machine vision.

* Henrik Bork is Managing Director of Asia Waypoint, a consulting agency specialising in China and based in Beijing. China Market Insider is a joint project of Vogel Communications Group, Würzburg, and Jigong Vogel Media Advertising in Beijing.

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