January 13, 2017 12:30 pm JST

Foxconn-Sharp considering LCD plant in US

Plans 'on the table' in response to Trump's 'Make in America' call

JUN IIYAMA, Nikkei staff writer

Flags of Sharp, left, and Foxconn

OSAKA -- Hon Hai Precision Industry and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp have begun studying the possibility of building a liquid crystal display panel plant in the U.S., a Sharp executive said Friday.

The plan is "on the table," the executive said. "We will make a decision carefully."

The Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer, also known as Foxconn, and its Japanese alliance partner SoftBank Group reportedly told Donald Trump they would jointly make significant investments creating new jobs in the U.S. when SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son met the President-elect in New York last month.

The joint investment plan was proposed by Son, the Sharp executive said.

With Trump urging American manufacturers to bring operations back to the U.S., Hon Hai is considering production in the U.S. due to its huge market for TVs and other home appliances.

In late December, an LCD panel maker jointly owned by Hon Hai and Sharp announced it would build one of the world's largest panel plants for LCD TVs in Guangzhou, China. The plant is to be jointly built with the local government at a cost of around 1 trillion yen ($8.69 billion) and is scheduled for completion in autumn 2018.

Details of the possible new U.S. plant, including the amount of investment and the date for the launch of operations, have yet to be decided. But people familiar with the plan said approximately the same amount may be spent on the U.S. project as it would entail the construction of a similar facility to to the one in Guangzhou.

Hon Hai, a major producer for Apple, is also considering iPhone production to the U.S.

Asia300

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.

Taiwan

Market(Ticker): TAI(2317)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Computer Peripherals
Market cap(USD): 51,508.6M
Shares: 17,328.7M

Sharp Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6753)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Electronics/Appliances
Market cap(USD): 18,831.2M
Shares: 4,994.53M

SoftBank Group Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(9984)
Sector:
Industry:
Technology Services
Information Technology Services
Market cap(USD): 79,343M
Shares: 1,100.66M

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