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Taiwan LCD firms bank on mainland

TAIWAN'S LCD (liquid crystal display) panel makers, which suffer from an oversupply due to the global financial crisis, are banking on the huge potential of the Chinese mainland's rural market and the recent stimulus policy issued by the central government, industry officials said yesterday.

The island's top LCD makers, Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp and AU Optronics Corp, have been selected to join the "subsidized home appliance to rural areas" project, which aims to boost consumer spending to improve the daily life of 800 million rural Chinese.

Selected home appliances sold to rural residents now enjoy a subsidy of 13 percent provided by the government. The subsidies could be used to buy computers, air-conditioners, water heaters, TVs, refrigerators and washing machines as well as motorcycles and mobile phones.

"AU Optronics will make use of the opportunity to promote its brand and products in the Chinese mainland and aims to double its market share in the domestic market in 2009," said Paul Peng, executive vice president of the firm's global business unit.

There is an oversupply situation in the global market and most panel makers sell below cost, Peng added.

Chi Mei has provided LCD panels to five home-grown TV manufacturers, including Konka Group Co Ltd and Haier Group, whose products are sold in the rural areas, said Jemmy Hung, the company's TV division's deputy director.



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