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LED a fast growing trend in Guangzhou

  Skyworth launches sales promotion. (Image courtesy of Shengxin)
  Skyworth launches sales promotion.

Hong Kong-listed TV manufacturer Skyworth is campaigning hard in marketing its new-generation TVs. It is playing up the advantages of LED backlit TVs, as competitors also launch new models of this new generation of TV sets.

Skyworth's Regional Marketing General Manager believed the LED backlit TV market had reached the threshold for really serious growth.

The commercial application of LED technology is becoming more and more commonplace. On Guangzhou's famous Zhongshan Sixth Road, electrical appliance hawkers are putting LED torches on prominent display at their stalls to draw the attention of the flow of people shopping for cheap, small appliances.

These products with their clear, bright light sell for just over Rmb10 apiece and they're popular. One hawker said he could sell up to 200 of these rechargeable torches on a weekend.

A hand-press charging LED torch. (Image courtesy of Shengxin)  
A hand-press charging LED torch.  
The popularity of the energy-saving torch was gradually taking over from battery-powered varieties.

Some tourism companies were offering hand-press charging LED torches that required no alternating current charging as gifts to customers to promote new routes.

Many families in Guangzhou are replacing energy-efficient lamps and tubes that have been very popular in recent years with the latest LED lighting.

They've been involved in a lighting revolution that evolved from incandescent lamps to fluorescent tubes, and on to energy-efficient lamps and tubes and then LED lighting.

Guangdong has half the LED Mainland market

  LED becomes serious business. (Image courtesy of Shengxin)
  LED becomes serious business.
The low carbon economy emerged on the Mainland under the influence of the concept of an "energy-efficient, low-carbon" lifestyle. In spite of its late start, Guangdong seized half the Mainland market in the LED "green" lighting industry.

Shanghai, Dalian, Nanchang and Xiamen were China's four major semiconductor lighting bases in 2003, controlling a market worth Rmb10 billion. At that time, Guangdong was insignificant by comparison.

There are over 2,600 LED lighting enterprises in Guangdong. The province now boasts an LED industry chain with Shenzhen and Guangzhou as leading players. Its output of packaged LED devices accounts for about 70% of national output and 50% of the global total.

At the end of last year, Guangdong's LED lighting and related industries had an output value of Rmb30 billion, accounting for 50% of the national total. At this rate, the Guangdong Science and Technology Department reckons the market will be worth over Rmb80 billion in four years, by 2015.

LED street lamps from Jeja. (Image courtesy of Shengxin)  
LED street lamps from Jeja.  
A number of leading LED enterprises has now emerged in the Pearl River Delta, with Shenzhen's Jeja Optoelectronics, Foshan's NationStar Optoelectronics, Huizhou's Huagang Optoelectronics, Jiangmen's Neo-Neon, and Zhongshan's MLS Optoelectronics gradually gaining prominence.

Particularly worth mentioning is that Guangdong has a better chain of support industries and is a national leader in the application of LED technology in cell phone backlighting, lamps and lighting.

New light source

Speaking of the application of LED in Guangdong, Director of the Information Department of the Guangdong Province Research Centre, Lin Chushun, said LED products had gradually won public recognition for their strong points as energy-efficient, low-carbon products and their market was growing.

  A seminar on LED applications in Guangdong. (Image courtesy of Shengxin)
  A seminar on LED applications in Guangdong.

"As a province enjoying a national lead in the development of the LED industry, Guangdong has seen a significant acceleration of government-led promotion since last year. Besides boosting market consumption, this will generate greater development opportunities for LED enterprises poised to expand their business," he said.

Guangdong organised the implementation of major scientific and technological projects like "Green Lighting" and "Energy Conservation, Emission Reduction and Renewable Energy" successfully tackling problems in the manufacturing process for high-power chips, while extending the service life of high-power LED devices.

The Province also started an LED street lamp demonstration scheme, under which cities including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing and Shantou are to install some 100,000 LED street lamps on 1,500 km of roads this year.

Ad for a new LED TV. (Image courtesy of Shengxin)  
Ad for a new LED TV.  

Guangdong's manufacturing sector has always been active and has a strong product development capability. This was fully manifested in the LED green light industry. LED technology is now widely used in many areas, including wide-screen colour displays, lighting fixtures, lasers, multimedia imaging, LED backlighting, traffic lights, instruments and meters, optical fibre communications, satellite communications and graphics recognition.

More than 10% of electricity generated on the Mainland is for lighting and will amount to 350 billion kwh this year. It is reckoned that the amount of electricity saved through the use of semiconductor lighting each year will exceed the annual generating capacity of the Yangtze River Three Gorges power station after 2015.

Vying for market share

Large companies are vying for a bigger share of the commercial LED applications market. For example, Jiangmen's Neo-Neon Group has set up an energy-saving services company to promote the application of its LED products by providing clients with package solutions encompassing product installation and a financing guarantee.

Also, Beijing's Blue Sea Action Investment Co is heading south in search of opportunities. It has an Rmb20 billion fund earmarked for LED lighting projects and hopes to invest in Guangdong's street lamps energy efficiency renovation project in the form of an energy management contract.

Blue Sea is said to have formed a partnership with Jeja and plans to invest in a street lamp project in Shenzhen's Longgang district.

In fact, Guangdong's LED street lamp demonstration scheme has sparked a hotly-contested race among major industry players.

Large investment and high risk are two major hurdles in the development of LED street lighting. However, it promises great commercial opportunities and clearly appeals to first-movers with foresight for market trends.

Forecast on China's LED market, 2009 to 2010
Forecast on China's LED market, 2009 to 2010

The government is also playing its role in promoting LED application. In Guangdong, an Rmb5 billion green lighting industry investment fund has been set up under the auspices of the Guangdong Science and Technology Department, with Rmb50 million coming from the government and the remaining Rmb4.95 billion from the private sector.

Guangdong Development Bank and China Everbright Bank are to set aside a supporting fund of Rmb20 billion for the purpose.

As the first investment fund combining technology and finance in China, this government-funded initiative will play an important role in the promotion of LED technology in the country.

from special correspondent Zhang Chuanxi, Guangzhou

(Images courtesy of Shenxin)

Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council
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