July 11, 2018 12:48
LG Display has finally won the green light to build a joint venture OLED factory in China.
The Korean company had applied for authorization a year ago, but that was at the height of an unofficial boycott of Korean goods and services.
LG said Tuesday that Chinese authorities approved the W5 trillion plant for television OLED panels in Guangzhou (US$1=W1,117).
The plant is slated to start production in the second half of next year and will roll out 60,000 OLED panels a month, later increasing to 90,000.
LG Display vice chairman Hang Sang-beom said, "Combined with output at the existing Paju plant, we will be able to produce up to 130,000 panels a month by the second half of 2019." That translates into an annual output capacity of 10 million 55-inch TV sets.
LG sees the OLED panel as a future growth engine as the LCD business, which has been its cash cow until recently, is becoming less profitable due to cheaper Chinese products, suffering its first loss in six years in the first quarter of this year.
One industry insider said, "LG Display's plans to realign its focus around OLED panels should get a solid boost from the authorization."
Chinese authorities probably took so long to approve the plant to protect their own manufacturers. BOE, China's largest panel maker, had been protesting against the LG plant, claiming it would pose a serious threat.
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