* To set up joint venture to build 7.5G plant in Suzhou
* Follows rival LG Display’s move to build China plant
* Japanese, Taiwanese rivals also rushing to China (Recasts with company announcement)
SEOUL, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics 005930.KS, the world's top maker of LCD screens, announced it plans to build a $2.3 billion panel plant in Suzhou, China, joining rivals pushing for similar plans in a battle to win the Chinese market.
South Korea-based Samsung said in a filing with the Korea Exchange on Friday that it aimed to build the plant for a total investment of 2.6 trillion won ($2.25 billion).
It is setting up a joint venture for $800 million in capital to proceed with the plan, which is subject to approval from South Korean and Chinese authorities, Samsung said.
Samsung's home rival LG Display 034220.KS, the world's second-largest LCD maker, said on Wednesday it would set up its own Chinese venture for a $4 billion LCD plant in Guangzhou, where it would plan to start mass production in 2012. [ID:nSEO22167]
Samsung’s plant will use a 7.5-generation facility, capable of making large panels for popular LCD TVs. LG Display plans to build a slightly bigger eighth-generation factory.
Leading makers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels are in a rush to set up production bases for China’s fast-growing flat-screen TV market.
Research firm DisplaySearch said China could account for up to 20 percent of the global LCD TV market by 2011, up from 13 percent in 2008 and overtaking Western Europe as the world’s No. 2 consumer after North America.
Japan's Sharp Corp 6753.T will set up a venture with China Electronics Corp (CEC) to make LCD TV panels in Nanjing, while Taiwan's AU Optronics 2409.TW is in talks with Chinese cities to set up a new plant. [ID:nT324063] [ID:nPEK154408]
Mainland playres are also in the game. China's BOE Technology Group 000725.SZ will soon start building the country's first eighth-generation LCD production line, a source said. [ID:nSHA156931]
Non-Chinese LCD firms in the past only kept back-end assembly lines in the country while protecting their advanced technologies.
LG Display executives, speaking at the company’s investor meeting on Thursday, said they expected most of the industry’s new production lines to be built in China in the coming years. ($1=1157.6 Won) (Reporting by Rhee So-eui and Marie-France Han; Editing by Ken Wills)
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