June 18, 2019 / 5:49 AM / a month ago

Japan Display suitors say local Chinese government supports OLED plant construction

FILE PHOTO: Japan Display Inc's logo is pictured at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Chinese-Taiwanese consortium formed to invest in Japan Display Inc on Tuesday said a Chinese provincial government has pledged support for its proposed panel plant, indicating plans made with the Apple Inc supplier are intact.

The consortium “solidified Zhejiang government support in the planned $6 billion OLED (organic light-emitting diode) plant construction and its capital syndication,” a spokesperson for the group said in a statement.

The consortium has previously said it intends make OLED panels in China using Japan Display technology.

The comment comes a day after Taiwanese screen maker TPK Holding Co Ltd pulled out of the consortium, muddying the outlook for the struggling Japanese smartphone screen maker.

Japan Display has been seeking an 80 billion yen ($739 million) cash injection to recover from the impact of slowing sales of Apple’s iPhone as well as a late shift to OLED screens.

The consortium spokesperson on Tuesday said TPK, as an Apple supplier, may incur “additional unwanted pressure” from “cross-investment into another Apple supplier”.

TPK had proposed to invest $230 million. Despite its exit, the consortium “has received investment commitments of over 80 billion yen,” the spokesperson said.

Japan Display declined to comment.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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