Revenues from our non-U.S. operations were approximately 79%, 77% and 76% of our total revenues in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. We believe that our ability to serve non-US markets is enhanced by our having, among other things, a local presence in the markets that we serve. This requires significant investments in financial, managerial, operational, and other resources.
Operations outside of the United States are subject to inherent risks, including fluctuations in exchange rates, political and economic conditions in various countries, legal compliance and regulatory requirements, tariffs and other trade barriers, difficulties in staffing and managing international operations, longer accounts receivable collection cycles, potential restrictions on transfers of funds and potentially adverse tax consequences. These factors may have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate revenue outside of the United States and to deploy resources where they could otherwise be used to their greatest advantage and, consequently, may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Note 13 of the notes to our consolidated financial statements presents revenue and long-lived assets by geographic area.
The photomask industry is highly competitive, and most of our customers utilize multiple photomask suppliers. Our ability to compete depends primarily upon the consistency of our product quality, timeliness of delivery, competitive pricing, technical capability, and service, which we believe are the principal factors considered by customers in selecting their photomask suppliers. An inability to meet these requirements could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We also believe that geographic proximity to customers is an important factor in certain markets where cycle time from order to delivery is critical. While some of our competitors may have greater financial, technical, sales, marketing or other resources than Photronics, we believe that we are able to compete effectively because of our dedication to customer service, investments in state-of-the-art photomask equipment and facilities, and experienced technical employees.
We estimate that, for the types of photomasks we manufacture (IC and FPD), the size of the total market (captive and merchant) is approximately $4.7 billion. Our competitors include Compugraphics International, Ltd., Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd (outside of Taiwan and China), Hoya Corporation, SK-Electronics Co. Ltd., Taiwan Mask Corporation, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., Supermask Co. Ltd., and Chengdu NeWay Photomask Making Co., Ltd. We also compete with semiconductor and FPD manufacturers captive photomask manufacturing operations that supply photomasks for internal use and, in some instances, also for external customers and foundries. We expect to face continued competition which, in the past, has led to pressure to reduce prices. We believe the pressure to reduce prices, together with the significant investment required in capital equipment to manufacture high-end photomasks, has contributed to the decrease in the number of independent manufacturers, and we expect such pressure to continue in the future.
As of October 31, 2018, we had approximately 1,575 employees. We believe we offer competitive compensation and other benefits, and that our employee relations are good.
Technology failures or cyber security breaches could have a material adverse effect on our operations.
We rely on information technology systems to process, transmit, store, and protect electronic information. For example, a significant portion of the communications between our personnel, customers, and suppliers depends on information technology. Our information technology systems may be vulnerable to a variety of interruptions due to events beyond our control, including, but not limited to, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, hackers, and other security issues. We have technology and information security processes and disaster recovery plans in place to mitigate our risks to these vulnerabilities. However, these measures may not be adequate to ensure that our operations will not be disrupted, should such an event occur.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in the European Union (EU) on May 25, 2018, applies to the collection, use, retention, security, processing, and transfer of personally identifiable information of residents of EU countries. The GDPR created a range of new compliance obligations, and imposes