Apple Inc is planning to expand its investment in Taiwan by building a new plant in the Longtan (龍潭) section of Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau said yesterday.
The administration on Feb. 18 approved a plan by Apple’s Taiwan branch to set up a new plant in Longtan, Taoyuan, where the US firm has its existing operations, according to company registration data obtained by the Central News Agency.
Chang Shih-chang (張世昌), a former executive at TPO Displays Corp (統寶光電), is expected to take charge of the new Apple plant.
TPO Displays was acquired by panel maker Innolux Corp (群創光電) in 2010.
Sources with knowledge of the plan said that the new plant would be built on a 30.83 hectare plot as part of the second phase of the Longtan section of the park.
While sources at the administration declined to disclose any financial terms or details about the plan, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News yesterday reported that the investment is expected to be about NT$10 billion (US$334.9 million).
The report said that the initial phase of the plan is to boost next-generation monitor production, as well as research and development (R&D) of monitor technologies.
The US firm is developing low-temperature polysilicon displays and metal-oxide-semiconductor screens at the park, along with quantum film image sensors, sources at the science park said.
The report cited unnamed sources as saying that the plant has been listed as a major project by Apple and that the US company has dispatched an R&D team to Taiwan to facilitate the investment.
Apple is planning to collaborate with LED lighting maker Epistar Corp (晶電) and panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) on monitor development to reduce the US company’s dependence on Japanese and South Korean suppliers, the report said.
Apple has been running a laboratory in Longtan since 2014 and with the new investment, the company is aiming to produce mini-LED and micro-LED displays, it said.
The Longtan plant is expected to become Apple’s third overseas R&D hub after Japan and South Korea, it added.
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