Opportunities in China


by Paul Drzaic
President, Society for Information Display

China is growing. Anyone paying the least bit of attention to the global economy over the past few years knows this. The electronic-display industry is no exception to this trend, with a solid infrastructure for display-module manufacturing and increasing demand from the citizens of China for devices incorporating electronic displays. There is also a growing interest, and investment, in display R&D and in the manufacture of advanced display components. SID plans on being an important participant in the development of a vibrant China display industry.

Earlier this year, I spent several days in Beijing, as a first step in building a solid connection between the growing electronic-display industry in China and SID. I was accompanied by Tom Miller, the Executive Director of SID, and Dr. Shaoher Pan, Chair of the SID Membership Committee. We were hosted by Professor Baoping Wang, Director of the SID Beijing Chapter, and Vice President at Southeast University in Nanjing. Dr. Pan and Professor Wang have been working for many months to co-ordinate a meaningful set of discussions between the SID leadership and corresponding leadership in China.

Despite the cold February weather, we were shown a warm welcome. Professor Wang provided perspective on how the Chinese government has chosen electronic displays as a desirable area for growth and is working to coordinate the establishment of advanced display technology within China. We saw firsthand how local industry and universities are working together in emerging areas of display technology, such as OLEDs. Our visit included a tour arranged by Dr. Yong Qiu, who is both a Professor at Tsinghua University and Chief Scientist at Visionox. Professor Qiu showed us how the company and university have established a basic capability in the manufacture of OLED displays and are on a path to developing advanced capabilities in OLED materials and devices. We also met with Dr. Ling Wu, General Secretary of the China Solid State Lighting Alliance, who described to us the strong commitment China has made for the development and deployment of solid-state lighting. An evening tour of the Beijing Olympic Park, where the lighting for its amazing architecture – including the "Water Cube" (aquatic center), the Olympic tower, and the "Bird's Nest" stadium – comes from LEDs, was a powerful demonstration of this commitment.

The highlight of our trip was a meeting with representatives of the High-Tech R&D Center (HTRDC) from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. We met with Zhimin Chen, who is Vice Director of the HTRDC, with responsibility for investment in R&D for a number of technology portfolios, including electronic displays. After getting an update on the status of several technology investment areas, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the HTRDC and SID to investigate areas of cooperation. SID plans to host a delegation from the HTRDC during Display Week in San Antonio.

I look forward to a growing presence for SID in China. For Chinese display researchers and industry, SID will bring the benefits and engagement that have proven beneficial to other countries involved in electronic displays. For SID, this is also an opportunity to maintain its leadership in display technology in a country that will clearly be making its presence felt in the coming years. •