Manufacturing News

Chinese flat screen market impetus

China will not need to rely on Japan and South Korea for its supply of large flat screens after the Chinese TV giant TCL Corp introduced the world's largest 110-inch high-definition 3-D screen on March 9, industry experts said.

Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary company of TCL, announced the successful development of China Star, the screen's model name, marking a historical step in the Chinese development of display technology.

The 3,500-employee company started to research LED display technology in 2009 and invested about 25 billion yuan ($4 billion), which is the biggest investment in China's display industry and Shenzhen city, Guangdong province, in the last 30 years. The company has an advanced 8.5-generation liquid crystal display panel production line that can produce 20 million screens annually.

"China Star is a breakthrough in display technology in China," said Li Dongsheng, chief executive officer of TCL. He said the new product makes China the third nation to develop high-end display technology after Japan and South Korea.

"China has ended the technological monopoly of overseas companies in this industry," said Qi Chengyuan, general director of the High-Tech Industry Department of the National Development and Reform Commission. "China has a huge market for flat LCD TVs. The new flat-screen product is a step forward in high-tech development, which is a focus in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015)."

According to Qi, China produced about 120 million TVs in 2011, of which 84.4 percent were liquid crystal display models. About 42 million LCD TVs were sold in China last year. He called for China to utilize domestic and overseas resources for more technological innovation in the industry.

Last year, 6 million 3-D TV sets were sold in the Chinese market. The number is predicted to grow to 20 million this year, said Lu Renbo, general secretary of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce.

According to the domestic research company All View Consulting, 3-D TVs accounted for only 2.6 percent of the market in China in the first quarter of last year. However, the share increased to 15.7 percent in August and 3-D capability is expected to be a "must have" for TV shoppers in 2012.

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