Comment: Is the new crown pneumonia epidemic accelerating the reshaping of the LCD panel industry?

by:Kimeery     2021-05-27

Due to the obvious impact of COVID-19 on major markets such as Europe and North America, Korean panel makers may suffer greater losses in the second quarter. So, can the new crown pneumonia epidemic accelerate the reshaping of the panel industry?

According to media reports, Samsung Electronics recently announced its financial report for the first quarter of 2020. It showed a loss of 240 million U.S. dollars in business. In addition, Samsung Display will lay off employees and close its LCD display production line.

This reflects the helplessness of Korean panel manufacturers. South Korean panel giants LGD and Samsung Display both face similar difficulties. However, Chinese LCD panel manufacturers continue to expand their shipments and increase market share.

South Korean factories accelerate their exit from LCD display production

Samsung’s display business revenue in the first quarter of 2020 reached 5.36 billion U.S. dollars and an operating loss of approximately 240 million U.S. dollars. The LCD market is currently oversupplied, which has caused its prices to drop sharply. This seriously affected Samsung's LCD business.

As early as September last year, there were reports that Samsung Display launched an early retirement plan to fire employees. In addition, the company transferred some employees from its LCD production line to the LCD for Samsung production line.

In addition to Samsung Display, LG Display’s liquid crystal display business is also losing money. In the first quarter of 2020, LG lost approximately $296 million. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of losses. (Report source: Gizchina)

In this regard, TrendForce's WitsView believes that although COVID19 has had a significant impact on all levels of the world, the impact on the panel industry has been limited so far, and the demand for TV panels has weakened However, the IT panel has maintained a certain degree of popularity due to the needs of WFH and remote teaching.

The real reason for the reshaping of the industry lies in the maturity of the product and the dominance of China.

Product maturity means that it is difficult for other suppliers to create significant differentiation in the panel field. Coupled with China’s dominance, it is in direct conflict with Chinese competitors who have government resource subsidies. As far as panel makers are concerned, there is no room to turn things around, so these two factors have accelerated the exit of Korean makers.

For China, which is gradually oligopolistic of the LCD industry, turning the zeros into consolidation will make resources more concentrated and at the same time reduce the conflicts between domestic manufacturers in competing with each other. Consolidation methods are also a top priority.

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