Changhong Electric Appliance, a leading Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics, has launched a US$100 million TV production plant in the Czech Republic, company sources said Thursday.
The new plant, which started trial operations Wednesday in Nymburk, 50 kilometers east of Prague, is seen by industry insiders as a new phase of Changhong's global strategy and a pointer to Chinese businesses' rapid expansion in the world market.
The new plant is designed to be the company's largest overseas production base for flat-screen TVs with Changhong aiming to increase its presence in Europe and expand its share in the international marketplace, said Luo Guangqiang, head of the company's overseas development division.
As the Czech Republic is located in the center of the European Union market, the new plant will help Changhong bypass certain trade barriers and sell its products to other parts of Europe as well as the Middle East, the Americas, the Commonwealth of Independent States and North Africa, Luo said.
Construction of the Nymburk plant started in March and the first phase of the project has five production lines designed to produce at least one million plasma TVs and LCD screens a year.
Luo said the new plant would start by assembling color TVs and gradually develop into a large consumer electronics base for manufacturing, research and development and logistics.
Europe is one of the world's largest consumers of flat-screen TVs but Chinese manufacturers have been facing trade barriers including quotas and other restrictions regarding price and specification.
Changhong, from a former military radar equipment factory in the hinterland of southwest China's Sichuan Province, has entered 120 million homes in 100 countries since it started to tap into the international TV marketplace in 1998.
(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2006)