Thursday January 03, 2019

South Korea to Restrict OLED Equipment Exports as Chinese Manufacturing Ramps Up

Citing a report from BusinessKorea, LED Inside claims that the South Korean government plans to designate OLED manufacturing equipment as a "core technology" and restrict exports to other countries. In light of previous technology leaks, Korean display giants like Samsung and LG are apparently worried about Chinese manufacturers stealing their production secrets. Interestingly, the report also notes that "the Chinese government has shifted the subsidy focus from TFT-LCD to OLED. Many Chinese panel producers were reportedly expanding their OLED capacities." While larger OLED displays aren't cheap or common compared to LCDs yet, it looks like the industry is shifting to larger-scale production.

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According to the report, the measure was proposed due to the technology leaks by Toptec, a Samsung supplier which produces automated equipment for smartphone display production. The company was accused of selling Samsung's latest OLED display technology to China's BOE. The inclusion of OLED equipment as South Korea's national core technology is believed to prevent such technology leak as currently only display panel design, process, manufacturing and drive are restricted.