Chinese Smart Card Manufacturers Gaining Market Share from Traditional European Smart Card Vendors

10 Oct 2011

​Major growth in developing markets over the last two years has allowed smaller Asian vendors, such as Eastcompeace, Watchdata, Datang, and Wuhan Tianyu, to increase their market share to 16% in 2010, up from just 12.4% in 2009. Asian vendors are increasingly challenging the top four all European vendors, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur, and Morpho, who saw their market share drop from 71.4% to 66.6% in 2010.

“In Africa, much anticipated growth is finally being seen,” says John Devlin, group director, security and ID. “Although there are still relatively low penetration rates, things are starting to seriously ramp up, and we expect this to continue. While China’s growth is now starting to slow, expected to drop below 10% this year, other markets, especially India, are increasing their SIM shipments at surprising rates.”

Much of the smart card growth continues to come from SIM shipments, which are expected to grow nearly 17% in 2011, with close to 500 million more SIM cards expected to be in use by the year’s end.  Overall, African SIM shipments jumped to 40% in 2010 and are expected to be up at least 21% for 2011. Similarly, the Middle East has been strong, while Indian shipments were 43% in 2010 and are expected to be 35% for 2011.

However, the uptake of smart cards in other sectors, particularly payment and banking, is also creating opportunities for the Asian manufacturers. “EMV is increasingly being adopted in emerging markets to reduce the risk of fraud and China is now looking to adopt the PBOC 2.0 chip and PIN standard.  At the same time, we anticipate an upgrade to the existing national ID card rolling out within the next five years,” says Devlin.  “While the leading vendors have a strong presence in the identification and payments sectors, such moves will inevitably provide a platform and important experiences for domestic Chinese companies to leverage in other emerging markets.”

ABI Research’s “Smart Card and Secure IC Market Data” estimates the installed base and annual shipment volumes of smart cards and smart card ICs, as well as tracks the average selling price (ASP) and the resultant revenues.

It is part of the Smart Cards and Embedded Security Research Service.

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