Samsung Electronics, the world's top supplier of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, announced the plan of building its second LCD module plant in Suzhou, to meet the growing demand for flat-screen TVs in China, Korea Times reported Monday.
"The new plant will have an annual production capacity of some 2 million in the first phase. We expect the LCD module factory to start production in the first half of next year," said Samsung.
The company added that 150 million U.S. dollars will be invested for the construction of a new plant and it will handle the investment alone without bringing in a strategic partner.
Samsung already has an LCD module plant in Suzhou built in late 2002 where it assembles panels for notebook computers and monitors.
"The expansion is necessary for Samsung at the current stage. Otherwise our rivals will catch up. Samsung is trying to grab a bigger market share in China," said Samsung.
According to the data from China's State Information Center, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Sharp were the top three sellers in the Chinese LCD TV market in the first half of 2008 with market shares of 12.25 percent, 12.13 percent and 10.45 percent, respectively.
Samsung added that although they see a bright future of the Chinese flat-screen TV industry, the continued demand and supply imbalance for panels in TV are keeping them from making an aggressive investment.
In the first six month of the year, the volume of LCD TV sales in China increased 40 percent from a year ago, with Samsung and Japanese companies taking up most of the growth.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2008)