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November 5, 2009

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China set for bigger LCD mark globally

The Chinese mainland, which will become the world's biggest consumer of liquid crystal display panels, is expected to double its LCD capacity share of the global total within three years, a United States-based research firm said yesterday.

The mainland, which now only accounts for a 3.7 percent share of total LCD capacity in the world, is likely to boost the figure to 7.4 percent in 2012 and even higher in the future because multiple foreign and Chinese panel makers are planning to build advanced LCD panel plants, according to a DisplaySearch report.

The report was released following LG Display's announcement on Tuesday of a US$4 billion investment in a LCD joint venture plant in south China's city of Guangzhou.

"A rapid decline in panel prices from the end of 2008 through the spring of 2009 helped push demand higher than expected," said Charles Annis, DisplaySearch's analyst. "Additional strong demand from China is now encouraging panel makers to move forward with capacity expansion in 2010."

Besides LG Display's new plant, Beijing-based BOE also announced recently an investment of 28 billion yuan (US$4.12 billion) to build an eighth-generation LCD panel plant in Beijing.

The advanced lines allow makers to cut larger-sized LCD panels with higher efficiency, improving profit margins, experts said. Until now, domestic output of LCD screens has been limited to small panels.

Japan's Sharp Corp said it will sell a sixth-generation LCD panel line to CEC-Panda for a plant in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province.

The equipment market is forecast to surge 51 percent annually in 2010, according to DisplaySearch.



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