In July 2017 LG Display announced that it has decided to build a 8.5-Gen (2200x2500) OLED line in Guangzhou, China, to make OLED TV panels. This is the first time a Korean company plans to produce OLEDs outside of Korea, and the Korean government is still considering whether to approve this plan as it sees OLED as a strategic technology Korea' economy.

55'' OLED TV panel production cost, 2016-2022 China vs Korea (DSCC)

Beyond lower-wages in China compared to Korea and the proximity to the huge Chinese market, LG is looking for a subsidy from the local government. LG Display's Guangzhou OLED line is supposed to be a joint-venture with the local government, where LGD will hold a 70% share.

Just how important are these subsidies? According to DSCC, placing the 55" OLED fab in China is the only way to make 55" OLED TV panels profitable. DSCC estimates that the subsidies will reduce LGD's depreciation costs by 65%.

This sounds a somewhat surprising estimate - LGD hopes to get profitable on its OLED TV business in the next 1-2 years even without government support, and it is hoping to employ other cost reduction projects, such as ink-jet printing.



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