Summary about LED display panel market and industrial development of China

GUAN Jizhen £¬LU Jiahe

£¨LED Panel Branch of China Optics and Optoelectronics Manufactures Association£­COEMA£©

Abstract£ºThis article reviewed LED display panel market and industrial development of China£¬Introduced the progress of technology and standardization of LED display panel£¬ Look into the future about LED display industrial development¡£

Keywords: LED display panel£¬Industrial Development

LED display panel is a new kind of information display product which was developed worldwide in the late 1980s. It became the main product in the field of panel display rapidly with its characteristics of high reliability, long life, strong environment adaptability, high price capability ratio, low cost, etc. It is widely used in the field of information display.

1. Overall instance of this industry

1.1 Market growth

LED display industry in China started in the early 1990s. And it developed rapidly and steadily all the time. Since entering the 21st century, it made growth of 15-20% each year.

In 2005, China¡¯s LED display industry maintained sustained growth. LED display market and industry in China all had new improvement and development. At present, there are approximately 300 enterprises of various types and sizes that manufacture LED screen in China. By the end of 2005, there are 157 enterprises which joined China Optics and Optoelectronics Manufactures Association. The marketing sale amount of these enterprises occupied more than 80% of LED display market of China.

In accordance with LED Panel Branch of China Optics and Optoelectronics Manufactures Association¡¯s statistics about its 110 members, their total sales amount is 3.34 billion RMB. To estimate according to this figure, total sales amount of LED screen is around 4 billion RMB in 2005. It increased by 10%-12% compared with that in 2004.

In recent years, LED display industry grew steadily in China. Table 1 is about sales situations of LED screen in China in the past three year.

Table 1 Sales situations of LED screen in China in the past three year

(Unit: billion RMB)

2003

2004

2005

Members

Nationwide

Members

Nationwide

Members

Nationwide

Total Sales Amount

2.40

3.00

3.023

3.60

3.34

4.00

Full Color Screen

1.10

 

1.485

 

1.730

 

Export Amount

0.4

 

0.453

 

0.551

 

Among them: Full Color Screen

0.280

 

0.415

 

0.481

 

 


From late 1990s£¬ China¡¯s LED display market has maintained a growing momentum.

1998-2000, annual growth rate is over 30%. Recently, annual growth rate is about 15%. Chart 1 is about growth and changes of LED display market in China from 1997 to 2005.

Chart 1: Growth and changes of LED display market in China from 1997 to 2005

Beginning with meeting domestic market, China¡¯s LED display industry has formed certain export scale. Sale of full-color screen grew rapidly in recent years. According to the statistics made by LED Display Industry Association toward its members, within the 3.34 billion RMB total sales amounts, 1.734 billion RMB is the sales amount of full-color screen. Export amount is 551 million RMB, and export amount of full-color screen is 481 million RMB.

LED display industry has reached a certain scale. According to the statistics, total number of employees is 11,380. Among them, management personnel is 2,060, takes up 18.1% of the total number; scientific personnel is 3,570, takes up 31.4%; the number of worker is 5,750, takes up 50.5%.

1.2 Technique Progress

Main technology and leading products are basically relying on self-development. In the course of technology development, a series of representative products came into being. From single-color screen in early 1990s to full-color screen in late 1990s, key technology was developed continuously. In different historical periods, there were representative products in the aspects of technology and market in China¡¯s LED display industry.

Technology developments of LED screen in the near future will be in the following field:

  • Comprehensive amendment and improvement of performance indexes such as the color, brightness, visual angle, etc. of LED screen.
  • Development of color and gray degree control. It improves color rehabilitating ability and visual quality of a full-color screen.
  • Constant current driving control technology has been extensively applied as well as LED driving IC and LED special IC which was designed and developed by manufacturers independently.
  • In the aspect of system technology, automatic checking, remote control, etc. are applied. The overall stability and reliability are improved.
  • In the aspect of product structure technique, manufacturers pay much attention to LED¡¯s level, heat dissipation and protection degree.

There have been new developments in the application of new products and new areas in recent years. For instance, Shanghai SanSi¡¯s ¡°full-color LED display system brightness uniformity correction technology¡±; Shanghai XinMao New Technology Co., Ltd.¡¯s ¡°high-density indoor full-color screen¡±; Shenzhen LianChuangJianHe Optics Display Co.,Ltd.¡¯s ¡°LED Visual Signs and high-definition LED full-color screen¡±; Beijing Stone Intelligent Transportation System Integration Co., Ltd.¡¯s ¡°new LED traffic guidance display screen¡±,etc. With the development of display screen insudtry and technology, a lot of enterprises developed their display technology and gained self intellectual property rights. They also obtained a number of patents and trademarks.

In 2005, LED display industry also had some influential typical projects. Guangpu Electronics (SuZhouCity) Co., Ltd. was in charge of engineering design, manufacture, installation and operation of ¡°China Screen I¡± project in Beijing CBD World Trade Street. This display screen is 200¡Á27m; total area is about 6000m2 and cost 20 million US dollars. It is the biggest display screen project in China up till now. This screen is made up of 20 million LED and 5 million pixels; it is ¡°The Biggest in Asia¡± and ¡°The Second Biggest in the World¡±. This project is planned to be accomplished by the end of September, 2006. In the Tenth National Games in Nanjing, 2005, various forms of LED screens are blossoming in radiant of splendor. They not only guaranteed various needs of the Games, but also added beautiful scenery to the Games.

1.3 Standardization

Standardization of LED started in 1996. In 1998 ¡°Common Standard of LED¡± was formally announced as the standard of electronics industry. In 2002, ¡°Testing Measures for LED¡± was released. In 2005, Ministry of Information Industry Electrics Standardization Institute and LED Display Industry Association revised the above two documents. In 2006, revised version of the above two criteria passed experts¡¯ assessment and will be published. Currently, in addition to ¡°Common Standard of LED¡± and ¡°Testing Measures for LED¡±, LED display-related standards, such as ¡°Industry Standard of the Ministry of Information Industry¡±, ¡°Standards for LED Specially Used in Sports Stadium¡± have been completed. Besides, relevant application fields have developed their own criteria. For example, Railway Department¡¯s ¡°Standard of Traveler Guidance LED¡±; Transportation Department¡¯s ¡°Standard of Variable Board On Expressway¡±, ¡°Standard of Variable Speed Limit Signs On Expressway¡±¡¯ Public Security Department¡¯s ¡°Standard of Urban Traffic Guidance Board¡±, etc. Distribution and implementation of these standards formed the basic frame of LED Standardization System. They also played important roles in standardizing market development and promoting industrial upgrading.

2. Analysis of Industry development Situation

2.1 Definite Application Area and Market Needs; Grow Steadily

LED display industry in China has been developing rapidly and steadily. Increasing rate was 30%-40% in 1990s. Since entering the 21st century, it increased by 15%-20% each year. During its development, the applications of LED covered many areas of the economy, including security transaction and financial information display, airport dynamic flight information display, port and station passenger guidance information display, spots stadium information display, road traffic information display, command and control center information display, service information promotion of post, telecom and shopping center; and the fields of new products of ads and media, performance, gathering, exhibition, rental,etc. Applications in these areas formed a more stable market demand for LED. Furthermore, it keeps growing with the development.

2.2 Significant Features of the Formation of Enterprise Group, Develop Gradually Towards Intensive

Overall characteristics of enterprise group within LED display industry are: mainly depend on privately owned enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises are the majority. There are about 300 enterprises and 13,000-15,000 employees within the industry. Average number of employees is 40-50 in each enterprise. Enterprises with less than 30 employees took a large proportion.

According to the statistics made by LED Panel Branch of China Optics and Optoelectronics Manufactures Association about its 110 members, there were 80 enterprises whose annual sales amount exceeds 10 million RMB in 2005. That means overall scale of LED display enterprises are growing continuously. There were 16 enterprises whose annual sales amount exceeds 50 million RMB. And their total sales amount added up to 1.734 billion RMB. These enterprises took up 15% of the total number of the enterprises and their revenue took up 52% of total revenue of the industry. That reflects the trend of development towards intensive. There were 7 enterprises whose sales amount exceeds 100 million RMB in 2005. These 7 enterprises took up 6% the number of enterprises of the industry. Their total sales amount added up to 1.1 billion RMB and took up 33% of the whole industry. That shows that enterprises which can act as mainstays will continue to grow and develop.

2.3 Industrial Layout has been Formed Basically

From the angle of industrial layout, LED manufacturers mainly centralized in East China and South China. Table 2 is the distribution of LED enterprises¡¯ production value according to their location.

Table 2: Distribution of LED Enterprises¡¯ Production Value

 

Region

Northeast

Southwest, Northwest, Central China

North China

East China

South China

2004

Production Value£¨million RMB£©

155

474

439

931

1,024

Ratio£¨£¥£©

5

16

15

31

33

2005

Production Value£¨million RMB£©

250

258

690

1,027

1,170

Ratio£¨£¥£©

7

8

20

30

34


Total export amount made by domestic LED manufacturers is 551 million. And the exporting enterprises are mainly in South China.

Chart 2: Export Situations of LED in China in 2005

Full-color LED is the product whose growth rate is high in LED market in recent years. They are mainly manufactured in South China and East China. In 2005, production value of full-color LED is 1.734 billion RMB, 421 million RMB in East China, 283 million RMB in North China and 155 million RMB in the northeast area. Total amount of production value in the southwest, northwest and the central part is 154 million RMB.

3. Problems and Development Trend

3.1 Problems

1) Lacking of technology innovation ability. The overall innovation level of the industry should be improved. Main facts are: lacking of new products with high technology and products which can lead market development; ¡°cloning¡± technology and products are common; lacking of leading enterprises which could give impetus to technology development and promote overall development level of the industry; serious shortage of investment in R&D. Due to the lack of technology innovation, low level technology repeated. Thus, the price war and non-standard competition emerge.

2) Enterprises¡¯ core competitiveness is so weak because of slow technology progress, low level product innovation and technology.

3) Misfit industrial chain. The sign of maturity and healthy development of industry is the combination of related enterprises, professional cooperation and division of work. In LED industry in recent years, many LED manufacturers packaged LED instruments, and many LED packaging enterprises manufactured LED screens. From the angle of enterprise development, this situation may reasonable. Then from the angle of industry chain, it is unreasonable.

3.2 Analysis of Development Trend

1) The deepening of technology and diversification of products.

China¡¯s LED technology basis and level are relatively advanced. Major products and key technology maintained the same level with advanced level of the same industry in the whole world. But the technique is relatively backward. In terms of products standard, whole system design, reliability, manufacturing, testing measure, etc. we still have a long way to go to catch up with other countries.

Continuous improvement of LED devices and attribution and electronic technology provide a good foundation for deepening and improving technology. Meanwhile, LED is widely used in the whole society. What¡¯s more, the development of semi-conductor illumination brings a good opportunity for LED¡¯s development. So LED has a good marketing prospect. Deepening technology, enriching product system, diversifying products, showing advantages of leading products are important trends of the development of LED display industry.

2) Standardization of conventional products and specialization of products applied in specific areas.

Publicizing and promoting relevant standards will promote the standardization of the development of LED. In conventional LED products, standardized display instruments and control system will be adopted more widely. Integrated LED display products will take up the dominant position in the industry. Professional division of work of standardized LED¡¯s production and market technology service will become more obvious.

In professional application area, professional level of LED will be always improved in order to meet the application needs. Specialized products combined with application needs will form new LED product and areas, such as large LED display for city lighting, LED in sports stadium, LED in transportation, etc.

3) Internal rational division of work and the formation of new industry pattern

With the development of technology and market, China¡¯s LED display industry will be gradually improved in adjustment. It will also have reasonable division of work and form new industry pattern. In industry chain, the formation of leading enterprises which manufacture LED instruments and display products will decide the work of related enterprises again and reflect professional division of work and cooperation. Maybe at the beginning of semi-conductor illumination industry, the definition of professional division of work and cooperation among LED instrument manufacturers and display products manufacturers is obscure. But with the expansion in the market and maturity of technology, they will become clearer.

Within the industry of LED display, enterprise groups will be classified properly. Technology development-oriented enterprises which give priority to control system technology research; production-oriented enterprises with large scale and standard production; special application-oriented enterprises to meet the needs of special market, etc. will be gradually formed.

Conclusion

Nowadays, LED display industry is facing good opportunities. With continuous development of the attributions of LED instruments, full-color screen is becoming the new increasing point of LED display industry. Important activities, such as 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2010 Shanghai World Exposition, etc. bring more opportunities to LED market. The development of semi-conductor illumination industry extends space for the development of LED. Markets in the fields of outdoor ads, sports, transportation, performance, exhibition, rental, gathering, etc. is also increasing.

Authors:

Mr. Guan Jizhen, Senior Engineer, General manager of Beijing Stone Intelligent Transportation SystemIntegration Co., Ltd., Senior Member of China Electronics Association; Committee Member of Quantum Electron and Photoelectron Branch; Vice Director of LED Panel Branch ofChina Optics and Optoelectronics Manufactures Association

Address: Beijing 8192 Postbox,Post code: 100081E£­mail: gjz@sits.com.cn

 

Mr. Lu Jiahe£¬ Senior Engineer; Officer of China Electronics Association; Vice Secretary-general of LED Panel Branch of China Optics and Optoelectronics Manufactures Association

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