Chunghwa Picture to partner Sampo in PDP production

Dec 15, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 15, 2003 (CENS)--Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. (CPT), one of Taiwan's leading manufacturers of flat panels, will cooperate with Sampo Corp., a leading producer of home appliances, to boost production of PDP (plasma display panel) television sets.

CPT currently has a production line capable of turning out 7,000 46-inch PDPs per month.

Lin Chen-hung, CPT chairman and president, said his company would invest NT$10 billion to set up a second production line of PDPs for TVs by revamping its CRT (cathode ray tube) plant in Yangmei, Taoyuan County, northern Taiwan, The plant will be designed to have an annual production of 800,000 PDPs focusing on 42-inch, 50-inch, and 63-inch models.

Lin said Taiwanese firms should cooperate with each other to set up new PDP plants to establish a sound and integrated production chain, like that of the TFT-LCD (thin film transistor-liquid crystal display) industry.

CPT plans to launch the second PDP production line by cooperating with Sampo. To ensure steady supply resource of flat panels, Felix Chen, Sampo's chairman, has expressed strong willingness to form a strategic alliance with CPT in this field.

To meet the demand of Taiwanese firms in mainland China, CPT will expand the production scale at its mainland affiliate Chunghwa Optoelectronics (Fuzhou) Co. by merging with a TFT-LCD back-end module plant in Wujiang, Jiangsu Province to list on the Shanghai A-share stock market. In this way, CPT will set up a back-end production line for PDPs at the Fuzhou plant.

Lin said he will consolidate his company's investments in mainland, hoping that Chunghwa Optoelectronics (Fuzhou) can be listed on the Shanghai A-share stock market in the third quarter of next year.

Sampo, Taiwan's largest and the world's third largest PDP TV contract manufacturer, is largely demanding the supply of 42-inch PDPs and has strong interest in 46-inch PDPs. The company currently focuses on the shipment of 42-inch PDP TVs and has just begun shipping 50-inch PDP TVs. The company anticipated it would ship 100,000 PDP TVs this year.

Thanks to the mass production of its Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, production facility in October, Sampo said it would be able to ship 200,000 PDP TVs next year, half of which will be produced in the mainland.

Sampo has close ties with mainland's largest manufacturers of home appliances, including TCL Inc. and Haier Group. Recently Chen was elected as the independent board director of TCL. The company said the assured supply of flat panels will help it secure a stronger global position as a contract manufacturer of PDP TVs.
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