The total shipment of X86 servers in China reached nearly 286 000 units in Q1 2013, indicating a mild market growth of 3,9% year-on-year. Vendor factory revenue for X86 servers reached US$870-million, with a year-on-year growth rate of 9,5%.
According to IDC, in terms of both shipment and factory revenue, international vendors are facing tremendous challenges from local vendors.

IDC explains that the European debt crisis and increasing labour cost in China last year have put China’s export and manufacturing industries, including the X86 server market, under severe pressure.

In addition, the General Elections in China in Q1 2013 also withheld demand of X86 servers in certain industries. IDC expects these factors will continue to affect the server market in the coming year.

The shipment of entry-level X86 servers in Q1 2013 was barely satisfactory, with one-socket rack servers and one-socket tower servers declining by 11,7% and 35% respectively year-on-year. The decreasing growth rate of such volume server products reflects weak demand from the channel market.

However, the year-on-year growth rate of the four-socket server market was still higher than the average growth rate of the market. Government, finance and utilities industries were the main drivers of growth four-socket servers, with shipment in the finance and utilities industries increasing by 19.5% and 73.9% respectively year-on-year.

Grace Cui, market analyst, Enterprise System and Software Research, IDC China says: “The four-socket X86 server platform can meet the market demands for database and virtual workload integration, as well as the shift from Unix to Linux. High-end servers would become an important engine for the growth of China X86 server market.”

In addition, the year-on-year growth rate of two-socket rack servers, that accounted for about 65% of the shipment of the overall X86 server market, was well above the average growth rate of the X86 server market in Q1 2013.

Eric Peng, senior market analyst, Enterprise System and Software Research, IDC China adds: “This is mainly due to the fact that Web 2.0 companies increased their procurement for scale-out storage servers. The growth driven by demands from the minority of industrial customer emphasizes the weak growth of the overall X86 server market.”

The media and government have become the two most important segment markets for X86 servers in China, accounting for 50% of the overall market shipment in Q1 2013.