Chinese TV manufacturers such as TCL strategically increased their shipments to the United States in the first quarter of this year. On a sell-in basis, TCL topped the U.S. TV market for the first time in Q1 this year by supplying 2,432,800 units and accounting for 26.2 percent of the total supply. This means the company supplied a lot at low prices in preparation for escalation of the trade war between the United States and China.
Chinese TV manufacturers have boosted their display panel inventories since late last year in this regard. According to market research firm IHS Markit, the top five Chinese TV manufacturers purchased 24.5 million panels from BOE and so on in Q4 last year, increasing their purchase by 14.8 percent from the previous quarter and by 3 percent from the previous year. In addition, the amount increased 5 percent on year to 20.6 million units in Q1 this year.
The U.S. government holds a public hearing on June 17 (local time) with regard to additional import duties on US$300 billion of Chinese goods such as TVs and mobile phones. “In Q1, TCL pushed its products into the U.S. market to avoid import duties and managed to beat Samsung Electronics, yet Samsung is likely to regain the top spot in the following quarter,” said an industry insider.