In July 2019 Japan's government decided to restrict some material exports to South Korea, following a diplomatic tension between the two countries. One of the materials Japan restricted is hydrogen fluoride which is used in OLED production as an etching gas and cleaning fluid.
According to a new report in Korea, as the OLED industry does not require an extremely high purity hydrogen fluoride and LG has been able to quickly find a source for this gas in Korea. It already started to use the Korean material in production - and aims to source 100% of its hydrogen fluoride from Korean vendors.
The Japanese government decided on these new restrictions following a decision in Korea that Japan's Nippon Steel must compensate Koreans for forced labor during World World Two - while Japan says that this issue was already settled in 1965. Japan removed Korea from the countries it allows free exports to, which means that in order to export to Korea, Japanese materials makers will need to apply for export permission which could delay shipments by 90 days.