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Fujifilm sells Chinese factory for car camera lenses

Japanese group outsources production to local player as competition rises

Cameras line the roof of an autonomous Acura car at Honda Motor's testing grounds in California. Cameras are becoming standard equipment in today's high-tech cars.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's Fujifilm Holdings will sell a Chinese plant that makes lenses for automotive cameras to smartphone industry supplier O-film Tech as competition squeezes profit margins in a field primed for growth

Fujifilm will buy components made at the Tianjin factory after the sale to supply to its own customers, aiming to use its resources more efficiently.

Shenzhen-based O-film -- which supplies camera modules and touch panels to smartphone makers like Huawei Technologies, as well as to Chinese automakers -- will acquire the facility and related patents for $28 million in a deal expected to close by December.

Demand for automotive cameras is expected to rise with progress on self-driving cars.

The deal includes patents related to lenses for mobile phones, which the Japanese group no longer handles. The factory also makes lenses for surveillance cameras and projectors.

Fujifilm has sought to diversify its business away from optical equipment with moves into pharmaceuticals and other areas.

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