Troubled Japanese electronics giant Sharp Corp is to produce cutting-edge LCD panels for smartphones in a Chinese joint venture from as early as 2015, a newspaper report said yesterday.
Sharp is to provide its prized IGZO panel technology to a new Nanjing factory being built by local giant Nanjing China Electronics Panda Group, the Nikkei Shimbun said.
Sharp will receive tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of US dollars) in licensing fees for sharing its energy-efficient and high-quality IGZO, the newspaper said.
Some of the funds would go toward acquiring a nearly 10 percent stake in the plant operator, it said.
The factory will be able to churn out the equivalent of 5 million panels for 10-inch tablet computers per month, the Nikkei said.
Sharp would obtain the right to purchase up to half the output, it said.
The deal marks a shift from closely guarding its technologies by handling everything from development to production in-house, the Nikkei said.
Sharp has been going through a massive restructuring program to rebuild itself, as it continues to suffer huge losses that have threatened its survival.
Along with job and salary cuts, the firm has also inked capital tie-up deals with foreign firms including South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co and US-based Qualcomm Inc.
Shares of Sharp gave up earlier gains to end 3.5 percent lower at ￥386 in Tokyo trading yesterday.