The next generation of Chinese vendors

Lachlan Colquhoun
17 Nov 2011

Ovum's Kunstler also names another privately held company, Chengdu-based Superxon, as another vendor on the rise.

Some of Superxon's founders and employees came out of Fiberxon, which through a series of mergers and acquisitions is now Source Photonics. Kunstler says Superxon also has a link to UTStarcom through that company's CEO Jacky Lu, and believes that UTStarcom was an early Superxon customer.

Like CIG, Superxon is focused on the PON market, and is supplying equipment to major vendors. The company's strategy also involves BOSA designs for 10G PON equipment and Ethernet over Coax (EoC).

Kunstler says this will give Superxon and opportunity when the Chinese cable industry begins to adopt PON within the next few years. 

Another expanding firm is Shenzhen Gongjin T&W, which came together in 2008 when Gongjin Electronics merged with Shenzhen T&W Electronics. T&W has a significant R&D capability and manufacturers a range of DSL products, with a growing interest in network video. 

"I met with them in Shenzen in September, and as far as I was concerned walking into their headquarters was no different to walking into an Ericsson or Alcatel-Lucent facility," says Kunstler.

"In terms of their product display, their knowledge of the market and discussions on many aspects of communications we had a very intense debate, and you could have blindfolded me and I wouldn't have been able to tell the different between being at T&W or with another world-class equipment company."

She was particularly impressed to learn that T&W had applied for CableLabs certification and conformance testing in the US.

"Devices approved by CableLabs will be used by the likes of Time Warner and Comcast for use in FTTx in the US. It gives them a good opportunity if and when that market moves over to PON in a much bigger way."

At rival research house Infonetics, analyst Jeff Heynen pointed to Beijing-based Sumavision Technologies - which is listed on the Shenzen stockmarket - as a name to watch. The company was founded in 2000 and has a market capitalization of around $780 million.

"The company is the leading supplier of video infrastructure to Chinese cable operators," says Heynen. "With these operators in a major spending cycle to upgrade from analog to digital, Sumavision stands to expand very quickly, since the cable TV subscriber market exceeds 150 million."

With the Chinese cable industry moving into consolidation mode and convergence a major project for the immediate future, Sumavision is also poised to take advantage of the growing domestic market.