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Television sales and production both down

PRODUCTION and sales of televisions in China dropped in the first quarter for the first time in five years, as the global financial crisis hurt external and internal demand and major producers slashed cathode ray tube television production, an industry association said.

Television sales in the first quarter dropped 28 percent year on year to 27 billion yuan (US$3.97 billion) and production decreased 9.2 percent from a year before, according to the China Video Industry Association.

Television exports in the first three months fell 18.4 percent on a yearly basis to US$1.67 billion and domestic sales declined 18.6 percent to 8.67 million units, CVIA said in a report.

The association said major producers have been shifting quickly to the LCD market from CRT televisions in a bid to weather the economic storm. Production of LCD televisions by major producers increased over 60 percent in the period.

In contrast, production of CRT TVs plunged 43 percent from a year ago and plasma-TV production fell 7.9 percent from a year before.

"Industrial-structure upgrading will accelerate this year," said Shao Rong, an analyst from GFK China, a German-based research firm. "The CRT market has more than halved in the first quarter and this mainly happened in third and fourth-tier cities."

With government subsidies to farmers for purchasing home appliances, smaller cities have become the battlegrounds for TV makers. Sales of LCD televisions in such cities is expected to reach 5 million units this year, CVIA said.


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