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Report: China TV Sales to Overcome Slow Start

22 Mar, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sales of high-definition flat-panel televisions in China are expected to increase 11% in 2010 despite disappointing New Year sales that fell 15% to 20% below projections, according to a new report.

TV shipments in the world’s most populous country will reach 41.3 million units this year, compared to 37.3 million units in 2009, according to research firm iSuppli Corp.

The projections are significant since China represents the fastest growing economy in the world, with a burgeoning middle class increasingly seeking Western entertainment, including movie DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, according to reports.

Top-selling TVs include LCD models, which now control 87% of the total China television market. Reflecting the global appeal of flat-panel units, China saw a sales spike of more than 70% during the Chinese New Year period in January and February, compared to the same time a year ago.

The projected growth represents a complete reversal from 2009, which saw China’s television shipments decline 2% from 38 million units in 2008.

Indeed, overly aggressive TV sales projections for the Lunar New Year resulted in manufacturers sitting on excess inventory at the end of February.

“Nonetheless, the inventory situation for LCD panels is manageable,” said Kathleen Zhang, a senior analyst for iSuppli’s China research service.

El Segundo, Calif.-based iSuppli said the next four years would continue to trend positive with annual growth ranging from about 5% to 6.7%.

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