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TCL to expand global footprint

Electronics giant charts plans for more complete industrial chains worldwide

Chinese consumer electronics giant TCL Technology Group Corp will speed up its globalization push, establish more complete industrial chains across the globe, and increase investment in next-generation display technologies, said Li Dongsheng, founder and chairman of the company.

Li, who is a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, said Chinese enterprises should accelerate the construction of global industrial and supply chains, which is of great significance in improving their competitiveness.

He said that in the face of anti-globalization risks, TCL has adjusted the layout of its overseas industrial chain to effectively avoid trade barriers, ramped up localization efforts and continuously increased capital input in research and development.

For instance, the company has expanded overseas plants in Vietnam, Mexico and India, and established joint ventures with local partners in Brazil to jointly build production bases, supply chains and an R&D system.

"Looking ahead, we will also actively consider increasing industrial bases in Africa and strengthening our business in the Middle East," Li said. So far, TCL has established 42 research and development centers and 32 manufacturing bases around the world, with operations in over 160 countries and regions.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said stabilizing industrial growth will be its top priority this year, and it will step up the promotion of industrial chain upgrades and enhance the core competitiveness of manufacturing in the country.

Building global competitiveness has always been an important strategy for TCL, Li said, while noting the company's revenue from overseas markets stood at 117.4 billion yuan ($18.6 billion) in 2021, up 60 percent on a yearly basis.

In his proposal to this year's two sessions-the annual meetings of China's top legislature and political advisory body-Li called for intensified efforts to support more homegrown companies to participate in key fields in industrial chains and improve the industrial chain of the Chinese manufacturing sector.

He suggested the country should attract foreign high-tech manufacturing enterprises to invest and establish factories in China, as well as encourage and support leading Chinese enterprises to expand their manufacturing advantages to overseas markets, and set up R&D centers and production bases.

China has gained an upper hand in the liquid crystal display (LCD) field, accounting for about 60 to 70 percent of global production capacity, but it still lags behind in new display technologies, such as organic light-emitting diodes or OLED, Li said.

He noted the company is accelerating layout of next-generation display technologies, such as OLED, quantum dot and micro light-emitting diodes. Compared with traditional LCD, the new display technologies show great improvements in terms of image contrast, brightness and color spectrum.

It has invested heavily in medium-sized displays, including laptops, tablets and vehicle-mounted displays, and started construction of a T9 production line, which mainly produces commercial display equipment, Li added.

Chinese enterprises should step up efforts for breakthroughs in key technologies through self-dependent innovation, and promote integration of the new generation of information technologies and intelligent manufacturing with the current industrial supply chain, said Zhang Qizi, deputy director of the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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