Samsung Display CEO calls for technological superiority to beat Chinese companies

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : October 8, 2019, 14:00 | Updated : October 8, 2019, 14:00

[Courtesy of Samsung Display]

SEOUL -- Ahead of a crucial event to herald a shift in the structure of production, the chief of Samsung Display, a major flat-panel maker in South Korea, called for technological superiority to thwart an aggressive strategy by Chinese companies which have glutted the global market for liquid crystal displays.

Samsung Display CEO Lee Dong-hoon said South Korean companies should step up technical innovation to change the game rules of market competition. "In order to lead the change and seize the opportunity for growth in it, we must completely change the game rules of market competition with our hands."

"We should move away from the past structure of quantitative competition, step up technological development with innovative ideas and move first toward an era of qualitative competition, in which no one can easily imitate," Lee told a business meeting in Seoul on October 7.

"As market demand has declined due to stagnant growth in set markets such as smartphones and TVs, Chinese companies are increasing their production capacity with more aggressive investments than before," Lee said.

Trade ministry data showed South Korea's display exports in September fell 17.1 percent on-year to $1.89 billion as China embarked on the mass-production of flat-panel displays, leading to a fall in LCD panel prices that forced the display unit of Samsung Electronics to adjust production by shutting down one of its LCD lines in Asan, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Seoul, in September.

Samsung seeks to accelerate a strategic change in the production of flat panels. An event is to be held in Samsung Display's production base in Asan on October 5, sparking speculation that Jay Y. Lee, the virtual head of South Korea's largest conglomerate, may disclose a new strategy to focus on the production of quantum dot organic light-emitting diode (QD-OLED) panels.

Samsung has promoted QLED, a short-term strategy before moving to self-emitting displays, while its domestic rival, LG Electronics, has accelerated the production of OLED panels. They are now locked in an unyielding fight over whose technology is better in producing premium super high-definition TVs. LG has filed a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission, accusing Samsung of misleading consumers with false hyperbole advertising.

Samsung thinks QD OLED, a hybrid technology, will provide a solution to the limitations of OLED panels which are self-emissive and require no backlight but their output is dimmer than LED panels. A QD-OLED panel would use a blue-light OLED panel acting as a backlight, with a quantum dot filter converting this into red or green light.

LCD TVs using quantum dots are branded as QLED and use photo-emissive particles. Photoluminescence is light emission from any form of matter after the absorption of photons.

Electro-emissive or electroluminescent quantum dot displays are based on QD-LEDs. Electroluminescence is a phenomenon in which a material emits light in response to the passage of an electric current. True electro-emissive QD-LED TVs have hot been commercialized.

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