Samsung Electronics Plans $2.2B China LCD Plant

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it plans to invest 2.6 trillion won ($2.2 billion) to build a liquid crystal display plant in China -- its first full-scale LCD factory outside South Korea.

The facility is to be built in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou pending approval from the South Korean and Chinese governments, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Samsung, a major global manufacturer of consumer electronics and components, is the world's largest maker of LCDs, a key component in flat screen televisions.

The company has yet to decide what size panels it will manufacture in the factory, according to Hwang Eun-ju, a company spokeswoman.

But she said that in general a plant of the scale that is planned would make panels suitable for TVs ranging in screen size from 32 inches to 47 inches.

Hwang also said the facility will be Samsung's first full-fledged LCD factory, or fab, overseas, following the six it operates in South Korea. It already has LCD assembly plants in Suzhou and Slovakia.

Better-than-expected demand in China's television market has been a factor helping the global large-sized LCD panel industry return to profitability in the third quarter after a year of losses or zero returns, research firm iSuppli Corp. said Wednesday.

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