SEOUL (Reuters) - Flat-screen maker Samsung Display said on Friday its first LCD plant in China has started operations, joining rivals who are boosting capacity in the country even as its TV market shrinks and flat screens are in oversupply.
Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics Co, and domestic competitor LG Display are both building multi-billion dollar flat-screen plants in China, to help them compete more effectively against little-known Chinese rivals.
Chinese companies such as BOE Technology Group and TCL Corp's LCD unit CSOT are undercutting the world's two biggest LCD makers and winning market share with robust sales to local TV manufacturers.
The start-up at the Samsung plant comes as global TV display shipments fell in the third quarter from the traditionally weak second quarter for the first time, with demand for televisions shrinking in China and Europe, according to researcher IHS iSuppli and Samsung Electronics.
However, panel makers are still expanding capacity in China to tap the country's fast-growing consumer electronics industry, with many households yet to replace their old ray tube TVs with flat-screen models.
Samsung Electronics, which owns 84.8 percent of unlisted Samsung Display, said on Friday it plans to invest further in its LCD manufacturing facility in Suzhou, near Shanghai, in the current quarter, as it prepares to increase output.
BOE Technology is also planning to raise 46 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) to build panel production lines and increase its stake in its LCD venture BOE Display Technology. ($1 = 6.0820 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Richard Pullin)