Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 12 News List

AUO discusses factories with China

WHERE THE CLIENTS ARE: The liquid-crystal-display maker said it wants to be closer to its clients in China and have a factory there to be part of the supply chain

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AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), Taiwan’s largest liquid-crystal-display maker, held talks with local governments in China about building factories there.

AU met officials from cities including Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, Yawen Hsiao (蕭雅雯), a spokeswoman for the Hsinchu-based company, said by telephone yesterday.

The decision to build a plant in China would need approval of the Taiwanese government, which restricts some investments by local technology companies in China, she said.

The LCD maker joins Samsung Electronics Co, LG Display Co and Sharp Corp in saying they are planning or considering building plants in China.

Most of the world’s laptops are made in China, where Taiwanese companies, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), have factories.

“We don’t have a timetable yet because we have to respect the Taiwanese government’s decision,” Hsiao said.

The company wants “to be closer to our customers to provide better services, and here will be some benefits for us” if we can have a factory there for the supply chain, she said.

AUO climbed 2.4 percent to NT$33.55 as of 9:26am on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, taking its advance for the year to 41 percent. The TAIEX climbed 0.3 percent for a 54 percent gain this year.

AU supplies to major Chinese TV brand names, Hsiao said, declining to identify the clients.

It makes partially assembled monitors and TVs, called LCD modules, in China at present.

AU plans to build a factory in China to make LCDs, the Commercial Times reported yesterday, citing chief financial officer Andy Yang (楊本豫).

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) is also considering manufacturing displays in China, the newspaper reported, citing Wang Jyh-chao (王志超), the company president.

“We want the policy to be opened from the Taiwanese government,” Loreta Chen (陳靜燕), a spokeswoman for Tainan-based Chi Mei said by telephone yesterday, declining to confirm or deny if it’s held talks with local Chinese governments or where it may invest.

“Once the policy is opened, we will immediately consider any possible plans,” she said.

Chi Mei added 4 percent to NT$17 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, taking its gain this year to 57 percent.

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