Samsung is expanding LCD production in South Korea indefinitely

Samsung Electronics announced on Tuesday that it plans to expand production of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens for televisions and monitors as the trends of the coronavirus pandemic of staying at home have spiked demand.

Samsung Display’s decision to extend LCD production in South Korea for an unspecified period overrides the March announcement that it would cease all production by the end of the year to focus on more advanced technologies.

Samsung Display said the length of the expansion would depend on market conditions. It had said in late October that it was considering a “short-term” extension.

Local media company IT Chosun reported earlier Tuesday that production would be extended by one year at the request of Samsung Electronics’ Set Manufacturing Division, citing unnamed sources from the tech industry.

A Samsung Display spokeswoman declined to comment on the IT Chosun report.

The stay-at-home trend sparked by the coronavirus pandemic drove global panel demand up 30 percent quarter over quarter in the third quarter of the year as demand for televisions and notebooks increased, according to technology research firm TrendForce.

However, the company added that the influx of additional manufacturing capacity from Chinese LCD makers would likely worsen the supply glut over the next year.

Samsung had made LCD panels in both South Korea and China, but sold a controlling stake in its Suzhou LCD manufacturing unit to TCL’s China Star Optoelectronics Technology unit earlier this year.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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