Chinese-manufactured electronic drum kits are cheaper to make than Japanese ones, a study by a leading research company has found.
Electronic drum kits have been popular for years in Asia, and they are used in hip-hop, dance music and other genres, but there has been growing demand for cheaper versions of the popular devices, which use electronic drum pads.
According to the report by research company Techno-X, China was the world’s largest importer of electronic drum gear in 2016, making about 70 million drum kits, which accounted for about 4% of all electronic drum sets sold worldwide.
It said China’s electronic drum makers were mainly concentrated in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
“There is no market for this type of gear in China,” said Prof Jiang Chen, a researcher at Techno X.
“It’s becoming harder and harder to find these devices in the market,” he told Al Jazeera.
“These are cheap, high-quality drums that cost less than $5,000, and we’ve seen that the demand for this gear is increasing as more people get into music.”
The report also found that while the use of electronic drums has declined in China over the past decade, it was still the most popular music instrument, with more than 10 million drums sold in the country in 2016.
“As technology evolves, there will be more demand for these kinds of devices,” Prof Jiang said.
“But there’s a lot of competition.”
In the report, Techno is tracking the sales of electronic percussion, drum kits and drum stands to determine the impact of the global downturn in Chinese music and its impact on electronic music, drum sales and the future of music in the world.
The research was based on a survey of 2,000 drummers from across China and Japan.
It looked at sales of the drum set, drum pad and drum stand, as well as electronic drum machines, electronic drum boards, electronic drums and drum kits.
Prof Jiang, who has researched the popularity of drum kits in Japan, said that while Chinese manufacturers are increasingly becoming more involved in electronic technology, there are still many Japanese drummers who prefer to use Japanese-made drums.
“The Japanese drum kits don’t have a lot in common with the Chinese ones, but they’re also cheaper,” he said.
Prof Jie, who also studied the market for electronic drums, said Japan was also the world leader in electronic drum sales, with some 80% of drum makers in the US, Canada and Japan, as of 2016.
She said that in 2017, there were around 10 million drum drums in Japan.
“They are not cheap, they’re not easy to make, they take a lot more time and they take up a lot less space than Japanese drums,” she said.
A Chinese manufacturer of electronic music equipment has been producing electronic drum drums for more than 50 years.
It is the first manufacturer of its kind in China and is based in Guangzhou.