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Hon Hai, China TV brands to sell 60-inch TVs: sources

TAIPEI -- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. is working with two of China's top television brands — Skyworth and Haier — to sell its 60-inch light emitting diode (LED) TVs in China, market sources said yesterday.

The sources said the large-sized LED TVs, which use flat panels made by Sharp's 10th-generation panel plant in western Japan, have gone on sale under the Skyworth and Haier brands in the mainland market.

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou owns a 46.5-percent stake in Sharp's flat screen plant, the first 10th-generation display plant in the world.

Through the partnership with Chinese brands, Hon Hai is expected to ship 10,000 to 20,000 of the big-screen TVs a month in China by the end of this year, the sources said.

Hon Hai declined to comment on its cooperation with Skyworth and Haier, saying the company generally does not comment on any individual clients.

Because Haier is headquartered in Qingdao in Shandong province, and Skyworth is based in Shenzhen, Hon Hai's factories located in Shandong's Yantai and Shenzhen, respectively, are manufacturing the products for the two brands, the sources said.

Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, operates a broad production base in China, with more than one million employees there to assemble gadgets for international brands, such as Apple, Dell and Sony.

In addition to providing assembly services to its two Chinese partners, Hon Hai is cooperating with Haier and Skyworth in other areas, including marketing and distribution, to capture a larger share of the huge China market.

Now that the Hon Hai-assembled TVs have hit the shelves of retail outlets selling Haier and Skyworth products, the Taiwan-based company plans to sell large-sized TVs in China via the Internet in the next stage of its marketing strategy, the sources said.

Once the online business has reached a certain maturity, Hon Hai is likely to market Haier and Skyworth branded 60-inch TVs in its own home appliance retail chain in China, called Cybermart, while seeking partnerships with other home appliance retailers to sell the products, the sources said.

Hon Hai unveiled the 60-inch TVs in Taiwan on Nov. 11, and they became an instant hit. Ahead of the Taiwan launch, the large-sized TVs hit North American markets, attracting strong interest.

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