BOE chairman Chen Yanshun didn’t make a visit to Samsung, a key customer of the Chinese display panel maker, during his visit to South Korea in April, TheElec has learned.
It is extremely rare for a high-level company executive of a component maker to not make a visit to a customer during a foreign trip.
Last year in July, TCL chairman Li Dongsheng during his visit to South Korea met with local equipment makers as well as Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display. Li discussed supplying liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for TVs with Samsung, sources said. TV maker TCL also has panel maker CSOT as its subsidiary.
In BOE’s case, the company has recently filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display in Chongqing, China, and this is likely the main reason Chen not meeting his counterparts in South Korea, the sources said.
BOE’s move can be seen as a tit-for-tat as Samsung Display had requested late last year that the US International Trade Commission investigate BOE’s OLED panels sold and used in repair in the US for patent violations.
Over the past couple of years, the relationship between Samsung and BOE has soured for multiple reasons.
Samsung’s TV business is reducing the amount of LCD panels it buys from BOE.
In turn, the Chinese display panel maker is starting to make inroads into Apple’s supply chain for iPhone OLED panels, a sector dominated by Samsung Display.
Samsung Display had made warnings to its competitors, without naming them, against infringing on its OLED panels since early 2022.
Its request to the US ITC likely stems from the company wanting to avoid directly filing a patent lawsuit against BOE as this would anger Apple as it could cause problems for them to procure OLED panels.
But BOE directly filing lawsuits against Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display means the South Korean companies will more than likely expand their attack as well.