Panasonic retreats from China TV market

Panasonic retreats from China TV market

Panasonic Corp. has withdrawn from the production of liquid crystal display televisions in China amid fierce competition from South Korean and Chinese rivals, it has been learned.

The electronic appliance giant was producing 200,000 units per year for the Chinese market.

With its South Korean and Chinese rivals lowering prices, Panasonic has judged it would not be feasible to stay in the business, according to sources.

The company is also considering closing a factory in Mexico, where 500,000 TV sets per year are produced for the North American market, as part of streamlining efforts to reconstruct its unprofitable TV business.

Panasonic's LCD TV factory in Shandong Province - its only TV production base in China - ended its operation on Friday, dismissing about 300 workers.

The firm plans to soon liquidate a local production subsidiary, in which it holds an 80 per cent stake, and entrust manufacturing to another company to continue selling TV sets under the Panasonic brand.

The Shandong plant was one of 10 overseas TV production bases.

If the company decides to withdraw from Mexico, its TV production will be slashed by about 10 per cent worldwide.

Panasonic's TV segment was in the red for six consecutive years through the fiscal year ending March 2014. Despite streamlining efforts such as ending production of plasma TV sets, the company is also expected to report a deficit for the fiscal year ending this March.

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