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China: AUO to re-apply to open new panel plant in China: chairman

China: AUO to re-apply to open new panel plant in China: chairman

Taiwan's second-largest flat-screen maker AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) said yesterday that it would apply again to build an 8.5-generation fab in China after the government announced it would further relax restrictions on investing in China.

"AUO will re-apply to set up a flat panel plant in China soon, " AUO Chairman K.Y. Lee said. "I believe that the application will be approved quickly as the company knows what Taiwan's government wants."

"In order to serve the company's downstream clients, it definitely will set up a new plant in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, " said Lee in responding to questions of the new fab's location.

AUO had previously hoped to establish an 8.5-generation plant in China, but it was not permitted because of a policy requiring domestic high-tech manufacturers to maintain technologies in Taiwan that were at least a generation ahead of those they planned to use in China.

Because of the policy, AUO, which operates an 8.5-generation plant in Taiwan, was only able to gain approval late last year to build a 7.5-generation fab in China.

That will now change, as the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) recently announced it was lifting some of its restrictions, including the technology stipulation, on flat panel investment in China.

The new regulations also allow for the equity participation of domestic panel makers in Chinese companies.

Applicants who want to set up panel plants in China will only have to give assurance that they can maintain a technology lead over China and promise to continue to invest in Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-10-17 03:27 GMT+08:00