TCL Invests $281 Million in Japanese Peer, Eyes New Display Production Method
China’s TCL Technology Group Corp. will invest 30 billion yen ($281 million) in a Japanese display-maker specializing in organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), forming a partnership to jointly develop a cheaper way of making display panels.
JOLED Inc. will receive the investment from TCL CSOT, the display manufacturing subsidiary of TCL, the Shenzhen-listed company said in a filing (link in Chinese) to the bourse late last week.
JOLED said in a statement Friday that it will receive 20 billion yen from the Chinese company funded by a new share issuance. The additional 10 billion yen investment was raised by issuing bonds, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. After the investments, TCL CSOT will hold a 10% stake in JOLED, according to the report.
TCL CSOT and JOLED will jointly develop inkjet-printed OLED manufacturing techniques over the next three years, aiming to develop large display products, TCL Tech said in the statement.
Current OLED production methods rely on a process known as vacuum evaporation, which requires the use of expensive “masks” to deposit material onto a sheet. Inkjet printing, in which nozzles spray material onto a sheet, is touted as a cheaper, more efficient alternative.
TCL said in the notice that the tie-up will reduce the “risks in the process of researching and applying the inkjet printing OLED manufacturing technology, and increase TCL’s competitiveness in the global semiconductor panel industry.”
JOLED was formed in January 2015 by combining the OLED display development divisions of Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. It is currently establishing a production line for inkjet-printed OLED displays and is aiming to commence mass production this year, according to the company.
One of China’s major panel-display makers, Guangdong province-based TCL Tech has been developing inkjet-printed OLED display technology for several years.
Currently, South Korea is the world leader in OLED panel production with Samsung and LG Display being the world’s two most important players. Chinese and Japanese companies have also ramped up investment in developing such products in recent years.
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