Asia Minute: Forecast: Southeast Asia to Overtake China on Laptop Computers

Oct 7, 2020

If you have a laptop computer, chances are it was made in China. But according to a new report, that’s not likely to be the case in another ten years.

About 90% of the world’s laptop or notebook computers are made in China. That statistic comes from a Taiwanese government think tank — which also says that figure will be plunging over the next decade.

Taiwan’s Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute says that Southeast Asia is the region which will pick up the slack. The reasons for the shift include rising labor costs in China, but also involve a rethink of global supply chains — and the dangers of over-reliance on a single country for manufacturing.

On the corporate front, a lot of this movement is being driven by Taiwanese companies, which are currently major manufacturers in mainland China.

Two major beneficiaries of the trend are shaping up to be Thailand and Vietnam.

Taiwan is already Vietnam’s fifth leading source of Foreign Direct Investment, and it is also a leading foreign investor and trade partner with Thailand – in areas from agriculture to electronics.

The think tank MIC says that China’s share of the global market for notebook and laptop computers will tumble from about 90% to roughly 40% by the end of the decade.

Demand for small computers has been rising sharply since the pandemic — as more people are working from home and schools have shifted to distance learning as a key part of education.