Korean panel makers look over their shoulder amid Chinese migration from LCD to OLED

2022.09.21 11:55:04 | 2022.09.21 13:53:55

[Photo provided by LG Display]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by LG Display]

Korean panel makers now primarily engaged in OLED after surrendering LCD to Chinese rivals would have to look over the shoulder as Chinese producers could migrate faster to the premium display amid waning demand for LCD TVs from global economic slowdown and strong inflation.

According to London-based technology industry research company Omdia’s latest market outlooks released on Tuesday, the global LCD TV shipments are forecast to drop by 5 percent year on year to 197.35 million units in 2022, dipping below 200 million units for the first time since 2010.

Demand for LCD TVs has contracted as strong inflation mostly affects the buying behavior of the working class.

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In spite of an overall slump in the global TV market, demand for premium OLED TVs remains solid. Omdia forecast this year’s total global OLED TV shipments will reach 7.44 million units, 14 percent higher from last year. The global OLED TV market is currently dominated by Korean brands, with LG Electronics behind more than 60 percent in OLED TV sales, followed by Samsung Electronics with QD-OLED TVs launched earlier this year for overseas markets.

But Chinese producers have been rising fast in the OLED sector and threaten the top position by Korean makers who had been forced out of LCD due to Chinese predominance through price competitiveness.

China topped the global display market for the first time last year, elbowing out the long-time leader Korea through rapid buildup in economies of scale under general government patronage.

They are expected to migrate faster towards OLED display to offset the rapid fall in LCD TV demand.

[Photo provided by Samsung Display]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Samsung Display]

China’s largest display maker BOE Technology expanded fast, having been subsidized with 17.4 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) from 2010 to March this year. It is expected to churn out more than 100 million units of OLED panels this year.

If Chinese panel makers compete with price appeals in OLEDs, Korea could be easily defeated as they had over LCD. Korean display manufacturers have applied OLED as strategic industry, enabling greater government subsidies and incentives for R&D activities and expansion.

By Oh Chan-jong, Jung Yoo-jung, and Jenny Lee

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