A Sharp plant. (File photo/China Times)
Sharp, one of Japan's leading consumer electronics companies, will collaborate with Taiwan's Hon Hai Group to produce smartphones in China, major Japanese media outlets reported Friday.
NHK and JiJi Press quoted Sharp president Takashi Okuda as having revealed the cooperative plan with Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn Technology Group in China, at a news conference held earlier in the day.
Okuda said the smartphones produced under the project will be sold mainly in China.
He was also cited as having said that Sharp will provide its advanced liquid crystal display technology for the new joint-venture project, while Foxconn — the world's largest assembler of consumer electronics — will be responsible for design and production.
As smartphones account for more than 50% of mobile phones sold in China and the market share is growing steadily, Okuda said Sharp must cooperate closely with Hon Hai to create new smartphone models to cash in on China's economic boom. Okuda also said he hopes new models will hit store shelves next year.
In Taipei, Hon Hai Group would not comment on the report, saying instead that the group is determined to forge full-fledged cooperation ties with Sharp for mutual benefits.
Hon Hai announced in March a decision to acquire a roughly 11% stake in Sharp for US$800 million, which would make Hon Hai the largest shareholder in the Japanese company. As part of the deal, Hon Hai also agreed to acquire a 46.5% stake in a 10th-generation LCD plant in Sakai, western Japan, for an additional US$800 million.