Mon, Aug 27, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Chinese panel makers gain confidence

Staff writer, with CNA

China’s TV panel makers will gain more confidence in their ability to compete against leading players from Taiwan and South Korea after reaching an important production milestone, according to a recent NPD DisplaySearch report.

The report said BOE Technology Group Co (京東方), China’s biggest LCD panel maker, shipped 1.1 million TV panels last month, the first time a Chinese firm shipped more than 1 million panels in a single month.

China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co (華星光電), China’s No. 2 flat-screen panel maker, is planning to ship 1.1 million to 1.2 million TV panels this month, a big leap from the 700,000 it shipped last month.

“The rise of Chinese TV panel makers, located in the biggest LCD TV market in the world, poses a threat to the existing business of Korean and Taiwanese panel makers,” said David Hsieh (謝勤益), vice president of DisplaySearch for the Greater China market.

“There is much discussion about the maturity of the LCD and TV industries, but the rise of China could lead to a rejuvenation, and more importantly, a reshaping of the business model,” Hsieh said.

Also, there is always a possibility that the Chinese government may increase its import duty on LCD TV panels from 5 percent announced in March to 8 or 10 percent to support domestic makers, Hsieh said.

Samsung Electronics Co and LG Display Co of South Korea, and Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) of Taiwan are all shipping more than 4 million LCD TV panels per month, while Taiwan’s AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) ships about 3 million units per month, according to DisplaySearch.

Until recently, Chinese TV brands have relied heavily on South Korean and Taiwanese panel makers to supply sufficient quantities of panels.

China’s domestic panel makers had only a 17 percent share of the panels bought by Chinese TV brands in the first quarter, compared with 47 percent for Taiwanese panel makers and 32 percent for South Korean makers, DisplaySearch said.

“Of course, Chinese TV panel makers still need to expand their product portfolio because currently they are mainly shipping entry-level 32-inch panels and have not been able to expand into larger sizes like 42, 46 or 55 inches,” Hsieh said.

“But no matter how many investments are made by Chinese companies, shipment results are the most obvious and direct proof that they can survive in the LCD battlefield,” he added.

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