China is still a long way from overtaking Japan as the world leader in the consumer electronics industry despite its fast growth, according to a study by trade facilitator Global Sources. The mainland's domestic players were largely small and not enough was spent on research and development (R&D), it found. '[This] leads to largely identical products and white-hot price competition,' Global Sources said in its newly released Electronics Industry Outlook: China. The mainland's Ministry of Information Industry forecast electronics manufacturing sales will grow by 17 per cent to US$198 billion this year, following 17.8 per cent growth to US$169 billion last year. However, the sector relied too much on mobile phones, televisions and switching equipment in its product mix, Global Sources said. It would take innovation capability as well as production volume for the country to become the leader of the global consumer electronics industry. 'To draw a parallel between China and Japan will be rather far-fetched at this point, although I won't discount the Chinese industry's ability to innovate at lower costs,' study executive editor Vivek Nanda said. Mr Nanda said Japan had invested an astronomical sum in R&D to achieve what it had. However, the study's executive editor said China's industries 'unfortunately do not have this amount of funds to do so'.