| Japan TFT-LCD Makers Push Production Equipment in Taiwan
March 17, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- As more Taiwan companies start
producing thin-film transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT-
LCDs), many Japanese suppliers are promoting their TFT-LCD
manufacturing equipment in an effort to cash in on what they see
as a lucrative business opportunity.
|Taiwan is widely expected to become a key producer of these
products in the near future.
To date, seven local companies, including Chung Hwa Picture Tubes
Ltd., Unipac Optoelectronics Corp., Walsin Lihwa Corp., Prime
View International Co., Ltd., and Chi Mei Corp., have begun
producing or announced plans to produce TFT-LCDs.
Japan's Toshiba Corp. says that Chung Hwa Picture Tubes is moving
faster than its competitors in terms of capital investment, and
has already purchased the third generation of TFT-LCD
With the exception of Chung Hwa, Taiwan producers are each
expected to purchase an average NT$20 billion (US$617 million)
worth of equipment in 1998, or a total of NT$120 billion.
Toshiba, which currently holds an 80 percent share of the global
market for TFT-LCD production equipment, said it will strengthen
its presence on the island in order to consolidate its market
Japanese suppliers have also increasingly been seen delivering
TFT-LCD manufacturing technology to Taiwan makers. Chung Hwa and
Walsin Lihwa, for instance, have obtained technology transfers
from Mitsubishi and Toshiba, respectively.
This is in part an effort to promote sales of their equipment on
the island, and in part an effort to share the market with Taiwan
A Japanese official in the industry explained that the setup of a
TFT-LCD facility is very expensive.
Building a factory, purchasing equipment, and hiring personnel
costs a minimum of NT$20 billion, plus an extra NT$10 billion is
needed in liquid funds.
In addition, the vicious price-slashing moves of South Korean
makers last year took their toll on Japanese producers. These
companies reportedly decided that the risks were too great, and
that they would be better off sharing production technology with
their Taiwan partners.
(Commercial Times, Taiwan)
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