China’s BOE Technology Group, one of the world’s largest display manufacturers, plans to build a massive new factory in Beijing, as it looks to next-generation technology for new revenue streams.
BOE will invest RMB 29 billion (USD 4 billion) in the 600,000-square-meter factory, according to Sunday’s announcement, with an eye toward expanding into markets for new technologies, such as panels for virtual reality (VR) devices, and a new type of high-end panel called mini-LED.
This technology is said to produce more vivid images by reducing the size of the light-emitting diodes that illuminate the display from behind. The factory will have the capacity to produce 50,000 panels per month.
The facility will be overseen by a company established by BOE. Construction will begin next year, with production slated to start in 2025 and full capacity being reached the year after.
China’s economy has continued to suffer under the government’s strict zero-COVID policy, and BOE’s sales have recently faltered as a result.
Slowing demand in the domestic market for TVs, computers, and smartphones that use the company’s displays pushed BOE into the red during the July-September period. Its net loss of RMB 1.3 billion (USD 179 million) for the quarter was a significant drop from the RMB 7.2 billion (USD 989 million) profit the company reported for the same period a year earlier.
Sales slumped 27% to RMB 41.1 billion (USD 5.6 billion), weighed down by falling prices for liquid-crystal displays. BOE holds the world’s largest market share for LCD panels.
With sales also sluggish for the company’s organic light-emitting diode displays, which it had been focusing on in recent years, BOE is urgently trying to find new markets to tap into.
This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It has been republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei.