Val­ley steps up screen pro­duc­tion

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By YANG ZIMAN and ZHOU LIHUA As the Chi­nese econ­omy en­ters the new nor­mal with its growth rate slow­ing, in­no­va­tion has been placed at a core po­si­tion in China’s over­all devel­op­ment. China Daily re­cently in­ter­viewed peo­ple in­volved with a lead­ing Statelev

Op­tics Val­ley has be­come a strong pro­duc­tion base for high-end elec­tronic screens, an in­dus­try ex­pected to grow rapidly in the near fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to a top ex­ec­u­tive of the largest elec­tronic screen pro­duc­tion base in the val­ley.

Shen­zhen China Star Op­to­elec­tron­ics Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd built its first pro­duc­tion line for sixth-gen­er­a­tion low-tem­per­a­ture polysil­i­con screens for medium and small highend smart­phones and tablets in 2015, with in­vest­ment of 16 bil­lion yuan ($2.4 bil­lion). It is the largest project in­vested in by a sin­gle com­pany in Wuhan.

The pro­duc­tion base, once it goes into full op­er­a­tion in 2017, is de­signed to be able to pro­duce 88 mil­lion screens ev­ery year, at a value of more than 10 bil­lion yuan.

China is the largest con­sumer of elec­tronic screen prod­ucts yet 70 per­cent of such screens in the coun­try are im­ported.

Li Dong­sheng, chair­man of TCL, the hold­ing com­pany of China Star Op­to­elec­tron­ics, said the es­tab­lish­ment of the pro­duc­tion base in Op­tics Val­ley would cut into the mo­nop­oly of over­seas com­pa­nies in high-end smart­phone screens.

“CSOT screens have high def­i­ni­tion, speed and bright­ness. Not only do they pro­tect the users’ eyes but also lengthen standby time,” said Ding Tao, di­rec­tor of the gen­eral man­ager’s of­fice of CSOT.

Ac­cord­ing to Ding, China’s cell­phone re­newal is faster than over­seas coun­tries. There’s a great need for cell­phone screens with higher sen­si­tiv­ity to touch and fin­ger print recog­ni­tion ac­cu­racy.

The com­pany is also do­ing re­search in AMOLED, a soft seam­less cell­phone screen that Xu Jianx­iao, board sec­re­tary of can be folded like a news­pa­per.

“This in­no­va­tion, if suc­cess­ful, will gen­er­ate im­mea­sur­able mar­ket share and prof­its,” said Ding, “By then, the prof­its con­trib­uted by the pro­duc­tion base in Shen­zhen are go­ing to ex­ceed China Star Op­to­elec­tron­ics’ other two bases in Shen­zhen.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ding, CSOT had sev­eral op­tions when seek­ing the lo­ca­tion for our third fac­tory. Wuhan stands out be­cause its gov­ern­ment of­fers a lot of sup­port for the elec­tron­ics in­dus­try.

“In Op­tics Val­ley, a pro­duc­tion chain has formed for cell­phone pro­duc­tion. A lot of down­stream com­pa­nies have set up fac­to­ries here. More­over, Wuhan has the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of univer­sity tal­ents, which is an­other fac­tor that ap­peals to us,” said Ding.

Tianma Mi­cro-elec­tron­ics Co Ltd, a Shen­zhen-based com­pany that moved to Wuhan in 2008, in­vested 12 bil­lion yuan in LTPS pro­duc­tion base in Op­tics Val­ley in Wuhan in March 2015. The com­pany has other pro­duc­tion bases in Shen­zhen, Shang­hai, Chengdu and Xi­a­men.

“Wuhan has no­tice­able ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tages be­cause it is in the cen­ter of China with very con­ve­nient out­reach to the rest of the coun­try,” said Xu Jianx­iao, board sec­re­tary of Tianma. “The gov­ern­ment’s sup­port poli­cies and free in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment have also added to the ap­peal of the city.”

When the two LTPS pro­duc­tion bases have gone into op­er­a­tion, Op­tics Val­ley will see pro­duc­tion of 60,000 medium and small-sized screens, and 160 mil­lion dis­play mo­d­ule groups, sup­ply­ing 440,000 sets of cell­phones ev­ery day. It will be­come the largest medium and small-sized elec­tronic screen pro­duc­tion base in the world by out­put.

Sta­tis­tics of Bei­jing-based Sig­main­tell Con­sult­ing Co Ltd, a LCD prod­uct con­sult­ing com­pany, show that full high def­i­ni­tion screens ac­count for 24 per­cent of smart­phone screens.

The prices of 5.5 inch FHD screen have fallen to the level of five-inch FHD screen two years ago. The LTPS pro­duc­tion lines will be a crit­i­cal fac­tor for the de­mand and sup­ply bal­ance of FHD.

The firm has es­ti­mated that the de­mand of LTPS prod­ucts will slightly out­strip sup­ply.

Tianma Con­tact the writ­ers through yangz­i­man@chi­nadaily.

Ding Tao, di­rec­tor of CSOT gen­eral man­ager’s of­fice

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