By Kim Young-gyo
China’s largest TV maker said Friday it is seeking to reduce its reliance on outsourcing liquid crystal display (LCD) panels used to manufacture its products, a move likely to affect South Korean partmakers’ businesses in China.
TCL Corp. said next year it will outsource 60 percent of the total LCD panels it will use in making TVs, compared to 100 percent this year.
“As Shenzhen Huaxing Photoelectric Technology Co. will likely boost its output capacity next year up to 15 million units a year, our proportion of outsourcing will gradually decrease,” Li Dongsheng, president of TCL, said. He was referring to a LCD TV panel production plant for the Chinese TV maker, which owns a 55-percent stake in the plant.
The move is likely to have a negative impact on flat panel makers in South Korea and Taiwan, Li said.
The TCL president said about 90 million LCD TV sets are manufactured a year in China, with 40 million units sold in the country.
He estimated that China will have a production capacity of only 30 million LCD panel units next year, suggesting outsourcing will still be necessary.
TCL, which was founded in 1981, has grown to become the world’s 25th-largest consumer electronics producer and sixth-largest television producer after Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics, Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp.
The company had been strengthening its ties with South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics in a move to increase its competitiveness.