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China: Earthquake Impacts LCD Supply Chain

Apart from the devastating, unrelated earthquakes that first struck Haiti and then Chile, a third quake at a magnitude of 6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan a week ago (March 3). The region houses several TFT-LCD assembly lines that produce TV and computer panels and the glass substrates that are cut for the panels. Most of the fabless factories had to be shut down temporarily.

The last time a similar quake hit the region, the factories were shut down for damage assessment for about three days—which means the current shutdown could be over (although the official China News Agency had not yet reported that occurrence by late Tuesday, March 9, EST).

The earthquake also affected glass substrate production.

Corning, based in Corning, N.Y., has eight tanks for substrate production in southern Taiwan, although none of them appear to have been seriously affected by the quake. But several Asian tech Web sites report some glass substrates in the Corning production process had to be discarded because of minor damage. Therefore, Corning's output will be affected, albeit only minimally.

Also, AGC has a polishing line in the region for substrates, which was not affected.