[THE INVESTOR] Sharp, owned by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Group, more widely known as Foxconn, has recently notified Samsung Electronics about its supply cut of liquid-crystal display panels from next year, according to news reports on Dec. 14.
Chosun Ilbo reported that Samsung, the world’s largest TV maker, is in touch with LG Display for possible panel supplies -- a rare move for the two Korean tech giants that compete in almost every sector, including electronics and displays.
“Sharp made the short notice last week,” an unnamed industry source was quoted as saying by the local daily. “Samsung’s control tower Future Strategy Office held an urgent meeting and asked LG Display for help.”
Sharp has supplied an annual 4 to 5 million TV panels, about 10 percent of Samsung’s total TV production. Their possible breakup means Sharp is abandoning about half the panel sales at about 10 million units annually.
Sources predict Hon Hai would beef up its own TV business combining Chinese capital and Japanese technology.
Samsung invested 10.4 billion yen (US$90 million) in Sharp in March 2013, becoming the fifth-largest shareholder. After Hon Hai announced its intention to acquire Sharp for 388.8 billion yen in August this year, Samsung sold off its entire stakes in the company in September.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)