As OLED becomes the ‘screen of choice’ analysts say that panels for smartphones will roughly triple over the next five years, while the market for LCD panels will fall 14%. The value of global OLED panel shipments in 2017 is estimated to reach $21.6 billion, already showing an increase of 53% from 2016.
Samsung currently has a dominant position in OLED production, yet rival companies such as BOE and LG are aiming to rapidly increase production of OLED panels within the next 5 years. BOE has so far invested 93 billion yuan ($14.1 billion) in new production facilities in Chengdu and Mianyang, with considerable support from the Chinese government. The firm is also reportedly in negotiation with Apple as the firm plans to supply panels to major consumer electronics firms for smart devices, televisions and healthcare.
However, BOE’s ambition for rapid manufacturing growth is increasing pressure on its factory employees. This is taking place in a nation which has seen endless controversies surround workers rights, working conditions, health and safety, as well as pay.
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