|President Moon Jae-in, fourth from left, and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, second from right, pose during an event announcing Samsung Group's investment in next-generation display technology and supporting plan for its subcontractors at Samsung Display's Asan plan in South Chungcheong Province, Thursday. Yonhap|
Tech giant aims to counter Chinese rivals with QD-OLED
By Baek Byung-yeul
Samsung Display will invest 13.1 trillion won ($10.9 billion) in quantum-dot (QD) OLED next-generation display panels through 2025 to secure its technological superiority and further widen the gap with its Chinese rivals, the company said Thursday.
The display-making affiliate of Samsung Electronics is a world leader in the sector, ranking No. 1 in the global TV market for 13 consecutive years, and providing more than 80 percent of all smartphone displays. However, the company is facing growing competition from its Chinese rivals that are now capable of mass-producing large-sized LCD panels at much cheaper prices.
To counter the fast followers, Samsung will repurpose an LCD manufacturing line at its Asan plant in South Chungcheong Province to produce high-margin QD-OLEDs. It will also invest in local display materials companies and conduct joint research with domestic universities to nurture the display industry ecosystem and secure innovative production technology.
|Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong announces the company's 13.1 trillion won investment into QD-OLED display technology at Samsung Display's factory in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, Thursday. Yonhap|
In a ceremony, announcing the investment and support plan, Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and de factor leader of Samsung Group, said spending 13.1 trillion won for large-sized display technology will create an enormous number of new jobs and offer the younger generation opportunities to achieve their dreams.
"The display sector is an industry full of opportunities to grow. Though the world's economy has seen stagnant growth and faces multiple uncertainties we will do our utmost to achieve technological innovation and nurture future talent," Lee said during a speech at the display maker's Asan factory.
President Moon Jae-in attended the ceremony and vowed the government would fully support Samsung Display's efforts to transform its business.
"The investment plan is a starting point for the country to retain its competitiveness as the No.1 display powerhouse in the world. The government fully supports the development of next-generation display technology," Moon said.
To encourage the research and development activities of the local companies, Moon added the government will also invest 400 billion won into next-generation display technology over the next seven years. "I expect it to become a catalyst for private investment to become more vitalized," the President said.
Samsung Display said the repurposed line dubbed Q1 will be able to mass produce QD-OLED panels from 2021. The capital expenditure on the facilities will be 10 trillion won until 2025 and the remaining 3.1 trillion won will be used for display technology development. The company added the investment is expected to create 81,000 new jobs.
Samsung Group has recently been expanding its investment in new technology in a bid to find new growth engines. In April, Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chip maker, said it would invest 133 trillion won by 2030 to also become a leader in the non-memory semiconductor sector.