Taiwan's AU Optronics, China to Set up Joint Venture

Will build a LCD module plant in Sichuan province

Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp said on June 22 it would set up a flat panel display joint venture with China's Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. as it tries to tap the huge Chinese market.

Both will invest 100 million yuan (US$15 million) to build a liquid crystal display (LCD) module plant in Sichuan province with the Taiwanese firm taking a 51% stake and Changhong the reminder, an AU Optronics spokeswoman said.

AU Optronics currently operates LCD module plants in Xiamen, Suzhou and Shanghai.

"The Sichuan joint venture shows AU Optronics are moving from the Chinese coastal cities to the inner area to embrace the huge market," the spokeswoman said. "Since Changhong has been one of our clients in China, the project is kind of a strategic investment," she said.

Changhong is one of China's leading home appliance manufacturers, while AU Optronics is the world's third largest flat panel maker in terms of sales after Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Philips Co.

The spokeswoman said the investment is pending approval from authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, adding the joint venture is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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