South Korea's LG Display said on Wednesday that it would set up a joint venture for a proposed $4 billion LCD plant in China, as Asian panel makers rush to increase their presence in the fast-growing Chinese TV market.
LG Display, the world's No.2 maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, signed a non-binding agreement in August with the Chinese city of Guangzhou to build the plant.
Details, including LG Display's ownership in the joint venture and the timing of the investment, had not been decided, but LG Display aimed to start mass production from the plant in 2012, a company spokesman said.
The plant will use eighth-generation motherglass, capable of making large panels for popular LCD TVs.
Leading LCD makers in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan are considering or have began negotiations to manufacture panels in China, while in the past they only kept back-end assembly lines in the country to protect advanced technologies.
China was expected to overtake North America to become the world's biggest TV consumer in 2-3 years, Taiwan's AU Optronics said last month.
LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo said on Tuesday that he hoped the company could start producing panels in China before other rivals.
LG Display is running panel assembly plants in the Guangzhou and Nanjing areas in China. (Reporting by Rhee So-eui and Marie-France Han; Editing by Chris Lewis)