China’s polarizer market will be controlled by local companies that will have a combined market share of 80% next year, market research firm Omdia says.
This is mostly from Chinese material firm Shanshan’s planned acquisition of LG Chem’s Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) polarizer business.
The deal will result in Chinese companies controlling 80% share of its domestic market in 2021, a staggering rise compared to the 30% it is expected to hold this year. In 2019 they controlled 24% and in 2018 22%.
The South Korean material and battery giant announced earlier this month that it has agreed to sell the business for US$1.1 billion to its Chinese counterpart. Polarizer sub-material film, automobile LCDs, those for client Apple as well as polarizers for organic light emitting diode (OLED) was excluded from the sale.
Polarizers are used as light filters in LCD panels that allows for only certain wavelengths to pass through. In OLED panels, polarizers are used to prevent reflection from external lights.
Omdia said it expected Shanshan to acquire eight production lines for poralizers run by LG Chem. The South Korean company has four lines in Nanjing, China and another two at Guanzhou. In its home country, it has two lines at Ochang.
Shanshan is expected form a joint venture with LG Chem, with each company owning a 70% stake and 30%, respectively. The Chinese firm will buy LG’s shares sequentially for the next three years, while LG will provide support for the polarizer business of the venture.
In terms of global market share, Chinese companies will control 34% next year, a significant rise from its 9% in 2019. Japanese companies will see its market share dip from 49% to 45% in the same time period while South Korean firms’ will see there share drop from 34% to 14%.
Shanshan will become the world’s largest maker of polarizers. Formerly, LG Chem, Nitto Denko and Sumitomo Chemical together controlled 65% of world production.
The change will give China a stable supply line of polarizers __ the COVID-19 pandemic had raised concern in the first quarter of 2020. It will also allow Chinese display panel companies to secure further price competence from securing their polarizer supply domestically.
However, to reap such benefits, Shanshan must finish the acquisition from LG Chem quickly, Omdia noted. There may also be a delay in supplying large-sized polarizers in the 75-inch to 85-inch range if the takeover takes longer to settle.