Chinese panel maker BOE Technology announced recently to inject 1.5 billion RMB (US$234.48 million) to work with the government’s China National Semiconductor Industry Investment Fund to invest in IC-related applications in the panel industry. BOE’s announcement was the latest move from China’s supply chain after the government revealed the national semiconductor industry policy in June 2014.
In a statement, BOE said it will provide 1.5 billion RMB to jointly set up a fund totaling 4.02 billion RMB with the China National Semiconductor Industry Investment Fund, Beijing E-Town Capital and Beijing Yi-chen Investment.
Liu Hongfeng, secretary of the board of BOE Technology, said the company decided to invest in display-related IC fields by investing in the fund to strengthen its competiveness in the panel industry.
Earlier in April, BOE announced to establish an 8.5-generation and a 10.5 -generation production line in Fuzhou and Hefei, respectively. The gen-10.5 facility will be the latest generation and latest technology, followed by Sharp’s 10-generation plant. In 2010, BOE and other Chinese panel makers also built several lines, which reached their full capacity in the first half of 2015. The growing domestic need also drove many Chinese companies to poach IC talent from Taiwan.
Meanwhile, TCL Corp., the company behind Chinese panel maker Shenzhen Star Optoelectronic Technology, has also reportedly laid out plans in the IC design industry. A media report posted on the company’s website also suggested its ambition from the driver IC to the polarizer.
The trend of company mergers in Taiwan’s touch panel IC and driver IC industries has affected several companies. With the looming vertical integration of the Chinese panel makers, manufacturers in Taiwan may face a drastic change in the future.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Windell Oskay CC BY 2.0)