LG Display’s investment in its eighth-generation OLED panel production plant in Guangzhou, China is expected to be approved by the South Korean government in the second or third week of this month.
At present, OLED panel production technology is one of South Korea’s key national technologies, and thus every overseas OLED panel production plant construction by a South Korean company must be approved in advance by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of South Korea. The ministry was not pleased when LG Display announced its plan for the investment in July this year. At that time, China’s economic retaliation for THAAD deployment in South Korea was at its peak. Besides, controversies arose over the possibility of technology outflow.
However, the negative view has subsided since South Korea and China mended fences late last month. It is predicted that the ministry will give its approval soon in that no tech leak has occurred in South Korean companies’ LCD panel manufacturing facilities located in China and Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are already running DRAM, NAND flash and mobile OLED panel manufacturing facilities in China, Vietnam, etc.
According to industry sources, the plant in Guangzhou is likely to have an annual production capacity of 2.6 million OLED TV panels after the investment is initiated in the first quarter of next year and the production kicks off in 2020. At present, LG Display’s OLED TV panel production capacity is approximately 1.7 million units a year.