Changhong Electric Appliance, a leading Chinese producer of consumer electronics, has launched a 100-million-U.S.-dollar TV production plant in the Czech Republic, company sources said Thursday.
The new plant, which started trial operation Wednesday in Nymburk, 50 kilometers east of Prague, is interpreted by industry insiders as a new starting point of Changhong's global strategy and a signal of Chinese businesses' rapid expansion in the world market.
Based on the new plant and designed to be the company's largest overseas production base for flat-screen TVs, Changhong aims to increase its presence in Europe and expand its share in the international marketplace, said Luo Guangqiang, head of the company's overseas development division.
As the Czech Republic is located in the center of the European Union market, the new plant will help Changhong bypass certain trade barriers and sell its products to other parts of Europe as well as the Middle East, Americas, the Commonwealth of Independent States and North Africa, he said.
Construction of Changhong's Nymburk plant started in March and the first phase of the project has five production lines that are designed to produce at least one million plasma TVs and LCD screens a year.
Luo said the new plant will start by assembling color TVs and gradually develop into a large consumer electronics manufacturing base for manufacturing, research and development and logistic services.
Europe is among the world's largest consumers for flat-screen TVs, yet Chinese TV makers have been facing trade barriers including quotas and other restrictions regarding price and specification.
A former military radar equipment factory in the hinterland of southwest China's Sichuan Province, Changhong has entered 120 million homes in 100 countries other than China since it began to tap the international TV market in 1998.