Wed, Jul 10, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Panel makers want share of tech budget

BARTER:The LCD industry contributes 8 percent of GDP and the government should allocate 8 percent of its tech budget to the sector, Innolux’s boss said

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

AU Optronics chairman Paul Peng, standing, speaks at a conference held by the Executive Yuan’s Board of Science and Technology at the Taipei International Convention Center yesterday.

Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times

LCD panel makers Innolux Corp (群創) and AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) yesterday called for more support from the government, including a share of the government’s technology fund, to help the industry overcome challenges.

The government has not come up with industry-specific policies or funds to facilitate the LCD sector’s development, while Chinese rivals rose to global leadership in terms of shipments on the back of heavy government subsidies, the companies said.

AUO hopes the government will provide more financial support to the LCD industry and remove barriers to facilitate industry integration, AUO chairman Paul Peng (彭雙浪) told a conference held by the Executive Yuan’s Board of Science and Technology at the Taipei International Convention Center.

As flat-panel displays are an important interface for smart living, the government should earmark a budget over the next four to five years and push for technological upgrade of new displays used in smart living and new applications, Peng said.

The government should also ease restrictions to encourage integration between different sectors to seize emerging business opportunities in smart mobility, smart entertainment, smart retailing and smart healthcare, he said.

Innolux president James Yang (楊柱祥) said that “the LCD panel industry deserves more government funding, as it contributes 8 percent of the nation’s GDP each year, making [it] the [economy’s] second-largest pillar.”

“An 8 percent share of the government’s [technology] budget would help facilitate industry development,” Yang said.

The local LCD panel industry’s production value last year reached NT$1.5 trillion (US$48.11 billion), with about 150,000 people working in the industry’s supply chain, government statistics showed.

The government should inject more resources to facilitate technology integration and upgrades, as Taiwan risks its global market share further degrading to about 20 percent in the next five to 10 years, Yang said.

Taiwan, with 35 percent global market share, has seen its ranking fall to No. 2 in terms of production value, trailing China, Yang said.

Separately, AUO said revenue last month contracted 2 percent year-on-year to NT$24.34 billion due to falling shipments.

Second-quarter revenue fell 6.6 percent to NT$70.07 billion from a year earlier, but it was up 5 percent from the previous quarter, AUO said.

Shipments of PC and TV panels rose 5 percent quarterly to 27.17 million units, AUO said.

Innolux said that revenue last month fell 13.9 percent annually to NT$21.3 billion, with second-quarter revenue sliding 4.9 percent to NT$63.2 billion from a year earlier.

On a quarterly basis, revenue rose 5.4 percent.

Innoux said shipments of PC and TV panels increased 8.4 percent quarterly to 30.92 million units.

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