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Sharp to head US LCD panel venture with Foxconn

Decision to build a factory there seen as a response to pressure from Trump

TOKYO -- Sharp will take the lead in the joint construction of a liquid crystal display panel plant in the U.S. with Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, an executive at the Japanese electronics maker said Wednesday.

Under the plan, either Sharp or its TV panel venture with Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, will invest in a panel maker that will operate the plant, the executive said.

The executive also suggested Sharp may ask companies outside the Foxconn group, which has a controlling interest in the Japanese company, to invest in the new U.S. panel maker.

Sharp aims to have the plant operational by the end of 2020.

The joint construction plan was initially announced in January by Terry Gou, Foxconn's chairman and CEO.

The estimated 800 billion yen ($7.13 billion) investment is widely seen as a response to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump on manufacturers to invest in the U.S. and create jobs there.

There is also a view that Sharp wants to show it is on board with Japan's bid to convince Trump of its plan to help create jobs in the U.S. It is a topic Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to bring up during his meeting with the president in Washington on Friday.

(Nikkei)

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