The Compressed Development of China's Photovoltaic Industry and the Rise of Suntech Power

Author Name MARUKAWA Tomoo  (Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo)
Creation Date/NO. August 2012 12-E-051
Research Project Research on the Asian Business and Human Resource Strategy of Japanese Companies
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The global demand for photovoltaics (PVs), or solar cells, increased by 53 percent per annum during 2000 to 2010. Japanese PV manufacturers, which had been the leading force of the technological development of the industry since the 1970s, were in a good position to profit from this explosion of demand for PVs, but in 2010, about half of the global PV production was attributed to Chinese PV manufacturers which entered the industry only after 2002. This paper explains the reason for the dramatic rise of Chinese PV manufacturers and the decline of Japanese PV manufacturers. Through a detailed case study on Suntech Power, the largest PV producer since 2010, the paper identifies two points that have been critical for the rise of the Chinese PV industry: choice of technology and fundraising strategy. The paper also tries to shed new light on the understanding of the global value chain through a case study of the global PV value chain.