LCD makers around the world are expected to set their sights on the Chinese market. Along with Samsung Electronics and LG Display, Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese LCD makers are competing with one another for constructing 8th-generation large-sized panel production lines.
The Chinese LCD TV market is projected to emerge as the world's biggest LCD market with annual sales estimated at 30 million LCD TVs this year and 39.4 million in 2012. On top of that, the Chinese government's support for promoting high value-added IT industries is another factor that has intrigued global LCD makers into the soon-to-be No. 1 LCD market.
In the end of last year, Samsung Electronics and LG Display received the final approval from the Korean government to fast-track the construction of panel production lines. Samsung Electronics is to build a 7.5-generation LCD module plant in Suzhou while LG Display is set to build an 8-generation LCD panel plant in Guangzhou. Besides, Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp., Taiwanese panel makers AUO and CMO, and Chinese's companies have plans to build a total of eight LCD plants.
Although the combined market share of Samsung Electronics and LG Display in the global LCD market exceeds 50 percent, they have a relatively disappointing 35 percent market share in the Chinese LCD market. By building LCD panel plants in China, both Korean LCD giants can enjoy additional benefits such as reinforcing supply chains, shortening delivery times, and cutting back on logistics costs. In particular, S. Korean display equipment makers, who have the knowhow of mass-producing 8th-generation LCD panels under their belt, are expected to enjoy expanding export opportunities.