Staff members arrange liquid crystal display televisions for dispatch. The TV sets are made by an electronics manufacturer in Huainan, Anhui province. (CHEN BIN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Revenue from China's television manufacturing industry is expected to reach 131.1 billion yuan (US$20.3 billion) this year, up 8.4 percent on a yearly basis, with new-generation flat-panel display technologies ushering in new development opportunities fueled by consumption upgrades, according to an industry report.

TV sales reached 44.5 million units nationwide last year, down 9.1 percent compared with the previous year, while related sales revenue stood at 120.9 billion yuan, a decline of 11.7 percent year-on-year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the report released by Beijing-based consultancy All View Cloud.

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New display technologies such as OLED TVs, curved screen TVs and laser TVs are all good choices and in line with ongoing consumption upgrades

Dong Min, an independent researcher focusing on the home appliances sector

Chinese consumers have turned to online shopping during the pandemic. TV sales from online channels accounted for 64 percent of total TV sales via retail channels in 2020, up 6.4 percent compared with 2019, the report said. E-commerce platforms such as JD, Alibaba's Tmall and Suning have accelerated efforts to expand in smaller cities and towns.

The report said 65-inch and larger TVs accounted for 25 percent of all TV products in 2020, an increase of 6.5 percent year-on-year, and the average size of TVs increased by 1.5 inches to 52.4 inches last year.

In addition, TV shipments to North America reached 53.1 million units last year, up 16 percent on a yearly basis, owing to surging demand during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Liu Fei, an analyst from AVC, said that along with consumption upgrades, the emergence of new display technologies-such as 8K, quantum dot light-emitting diodes or QLED, organic light-emitting diode or OLED, and micro light-emitting diode or micro LED-is expected to provide a big boost to the TV industry.

Liu added that the contagion has changed consumers' purchasing habits and sped up the revolution in retail channels, as e-commerce channels and noncontact deliveries have gained traction among tech-savvy people, and sales of home appliances with sterilization and disinfection modalities in place have also increased significantly.

Intelligent and large-sized TV products that offer interactive scenarios and connect with various smart home devices are increasingly favored by consumers, Liu added.

Experts said competition among Chinese TV manufacturers is very intense as production capacity of both panels and TVs is continually increasing, but demand from consumers who aspire to switch to new TV sets is declining.

Chinese TV manufacturers launched a string of smart TV products with state-of-the-art display technologies during the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, which was held online earlier this month. TCL Technology Group Corp highlighted a 17-inch OLED display and 6.7-inch AMOLED display, along with its newest mini-LED, QLED and TCL 20 series smartphones. Hisense Group launched a new range of laser TVs that create purer colors on screens during the CES.

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Skyworth Group unveiled a wallpaper-thin OLED TV earlier this month. Tony Wang, chief executive and president of Skyworth TV, said they are looking forward to bringing excellent and differentiated entertainment experience to customers in the North American market.

The company said its TV sales in the United States increased by 96.8 percent on a yearly basis from January to November last year, with the online sales surging 136.4 percent year-on-year.

Zhang Hong, director of the TV department at Beijing-based Sigmaintell Consulting, estimated that the overall shipments of TV products worldwide will drop 3.1 percent to 238 million units this year, considering the rising price of display panels.

LG Display is currently the world's only supplier of large-screen OLED TV panels. "Global shipments of OLED TV panels reached 4.2 million units in 2020, and this figure is expected to reach 6.6 million units this year, maintaining relatively rapid growth in the next five years," Zhang said.

According to Zhang, shipments of 8K panels, with sizes ranging from 55-110 inches, will rise from 540,000 units last year to 760,000 units this year. It is expected that shipments of 8K panels will see a rapid growth after 2022.

Furthermore, Chinese panel manufacturers are investing heavily in display panels. BOE Technology Group Co Ltd said it will continue to strengthen its position in the industry amid a surge in demand for large-sized high-definition panels.

Dong Min, an independent researcher focusing on the home appliances sector, said the traditional TV market is almost saturated and companies need to seek new growth points.

"New display technologies such as OLED TVs, curved screen TVs and laser TVs are all good choices and in line with ongoing consumption upgrades," Dong said.