Japan's Sharp to tie with Chinese firm, build LCD panel factory

Sharp and China Electronics will build a new plant in Nanjing that can produce 60,000 large LCD panels a month

Japan's Sharp said Thursday it will team with a large Chinese manufacturer to build a factory in Nanjing and mass-produce LCD screens for TVs, computers and tablets.

Sharp said it will form a joint venture with China Electronics Corp. (CEC) to manage the project, and aims to begin production in June 2015. The plant will eventually handle 60,000 LCD panels per month, each measuring 2.2 x 2.5 meters, which can then be divided into smaller sizes for consumer products.

Although Sharp is struggling with massive losses and going through a major restructuring to rebuild its finances, the company is still one of the largest LCD display makers in the world and possesses cutting-edge technology. Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported that as part of the deal, Sharp will transfer its technology for producing IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) screens to the venture and will receive payment in the "tens of billions of yen" in return, part of which it will use to fund the new investment.

IGZO allows for higher resolutions and lower power drain than traditional LCD screens, and devices that use the technology are beginning to appear on the market. Sharp has launched smartphones and tablets with IGZO screens, and Samsung Electronics, Asustek Computer and Fujitsu are all releasing laptops that use the technology.

Rumors have long circulated that Samsung and Apple are looking to build smartphones using IGZO screens. A second factory that can produce the technology would help allay fears of being dependent on a single supplier.

The new venture will be called Nanjing CEC-Panda LCD Technology and will be funded by a 17.5 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) investment, 92 percent from CEC Group and 8 percent from Sharp. It will be officially established in March of next year.

Sharp said the Chinese plant will allow production at lower costs than its current factories, and it will retain the right to buy the panels produced at the new facility.

Sharp has been aggressively pursuing deals with foreign partners to shore up its finances as it looks to recover from deep losses. Since last year it has signed deals with Samsung, Foxconn and Qualcomm for joint production and research.

As a result of a deal announced in August 2009, Sharp and CEC already operate a Chinese joint venture producing smaller LCD panels, to which Sharp transferred some of its older technology. They said at the time they would negotiate a deal to build larger panels in the future.

Sharp booked a ¥545 billion loss last fiscal year but forecasts it can rebound to a ¥5 billion profit during the current period. It said Thursday that the finances of the new deal are already factored into its current forecast.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesChina ElectronicssharpComponentsdisplaysMergers and acquisitions

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?