The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday urged local flat-panel makers to enhance technology competitiveness and work closer with their Chinese counterparts to tap the Chinese market amid flattening economies in the US and Europe that have impacted overseas orders.
Companies across the Taiwan Strait should work together because Taiwan needs a stable and long-term export market, while China’s own production only met 3 percent of its panel demand, according to a ministry statement.
The ministry’s remark came after Tomson Li (李東生), chairman and CEO of China’s home appliances maker TCL Corp, said in Taipei on Monday that it would continue to work with Taiwanese panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) next year.
China currently has four 5G fabs to supply mid and small-sized panels for products such as notebooks and monitors, while the two latest advanced 8.5G fabs from Shenzhen Huaxing Photoelectric Technology Co (華星光電) and BOE Technology Group Co (京東方) — which supply larger-sized LCD TVs — only started mass production in the third quarter, but on a smaller scale.
The ministry said it has engaged in talks with China to assist Taiwanese makers in tapping China’s market potential.
These efforts included the seventh round of official cross-strait talks on Oct. 20, in which both parties agreed to enhance partnerships on five sectors — LED lighting, TFT-LCD, wireless zones, low-temperature logistics and electric vehicles.
The ministry said the Economic Cooperation Committee — a cross-strait ad hoc group charged with following up on the progress of the implementation of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), also set up a TFT-LCD subgroup under the industrial working group in August.
TAIWANESE FIRMS FINED
Separately, AU Optronics, the nation’s No. 2 flat-panel maker, yesterday said it was fined 28.44 billion won (US$25.13 million) by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), which ruled that the Taiwanese firm and several other LCD companies had violated South Korean fair trade rules.
The South Korean anti-competition watchdog said in October it had fined 10 companies in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan for antitrust violations after a probe into allegations of price-fixing.
The KFTC ruled that Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) be fined 1.55 billion and 290 million won, respectively.
The Taiwanese LCD makers have not made a decision yet on whether they would pay the fines and are still studying measures to deal with the penalties imposed by the KFTC.
On Tuesday, HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶) said it received a notice for an 871 million won fine from the KFTC and the company’s legal department was studying how to respond to the ruling.
AU Optronics said the ruling would not have an immediate or severe impact on the company’s operation as it has arranged proper provisions for the case, according to a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
The company said it was studying possible countermeasures to the ruling.
‧ AU Optronics Corp Fined 28.44 billion won
‧ Chimei Innolux Corp Fined 1.55 billion won
‧ HannStar Display Corp Fined 871 million won
‧ Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd Fined 290 million won
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