Chinese consumer electronics giant TCL Corp will ramp up efforts to expand its presence in Europe, India and South America this year, and increase investment in the research and development of artificial intelligence, with a focus on semiconductor display, new material and other emerging businesses.
"We will put an emphasis on European countries in 2019, after we established an AI research center in Poland last year, as well as exploring the Indian market, which shows huge growth potential," Li Dongsheng, chairman and chief executive officer of TCL, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual two sessions.
Li, who is a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, expected revenue from overseas markets will become a main driving force for the company's overall businesses, adding that sales of terminal devices in the United States increased by 40 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year.
The company launched construction of its first-ever smart integrated manufacturing industrial park in India in December, which is scheduled to commence production in the fourth quarter of this year.
Moreover, the sales revenue from Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology, a subsidiary of TCL, will rise by 40 percent year-on-year this year, after the Gen 11 TFT-LCD and active matrix/organic light-emitting diode production line achieved mass production in February, according to Li.
"I am confident that the company's overall revenue and profits will maintain growth this year," Li said.
The company will invest 80 billion yuan ($11.9 billion) in semiconductor display, AI, big data and intelligent manufacturing in the next three years, Li said in an earlier interview.
"Most of the capital will be poured into the semiconductor, next-generation display and new material sectors. We will increase investment and innovation in AI-enabled technologies, and apply such cutting-edge technologies to more devices. The final investment may surpass 80 billion yuan," Li explained.
As a traditional home appliance giant, TCL announced strategic adjustment last year. Its consumer electronics, home appliance and terminals businesses will be split off from the listed company, as the company shifts its focus to the semiconductor display sector.
Li noted that the company has invested in flexible AMOLED technology display panels, which are used for foldable mobile phones and wearable devices, adding that investment in the next-generation flexible display technology and intelligent manufacturing will continue.
Dong Min, general manager at Beijing consultancy All View Cloud, said TCL has accelerated its efforts to expand overseas, and it is necessary to establish an R&D center and manufacturing bases in overseas markets to boost local sales.