A worker monitors the manufacturing process of a flat-panel TV in Hisense's plant in Guiyang, Guizhou province.
China's television industry is expected to rebound this year after witnessing a downturn in 2017, with sales ascending to 48.98 million units, up 3.1 percent year-on-year, an industry report said.
The sales of televisions in the domestic market reached 47.52 million units last year, down 6.6 percent year-on-year due to the tough oversight of the red-hot property market, the rising price of display panels and the lack of major sports events, according to the report, which was released by Beijing-based consultancy All View Cloud and the China Video Industry Association.
Affected by the soaring price of raw materials, the average price of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs has increased from 3,200 yuan (0.8) early last year to 3,500 yuan at the end of last year, up 12 percent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the previously buoyant internet TVs sector saw a downturn last year, with its market shares dropping 6 percent compared with the same period of the previous year, accounting for 13 percent, the report said.
However, people's incomes have improved and they're upgrading homes, partly by purchasing medium and high-end TVs, including OLED, ultra-thin, curved screen, large-sized TVs, said Peng Jianfeng, deputy secretary general of the China Video Industry Association.
Zhu Yuanyuan, deputy general manager at All View Cloud, said that "2017 was the most difficult year for the TV industry as we have experienced the biggest decline since 2003, but we are seeing several technological innovations in AI-powered and intelligent TVs."
Zhu said industry leaders are confident of a sales increase this year, though they estimate revenue will reach 159.7 billion yuan, still down 2.1 percent year-on-year.
The Chinese economy expected to maintain healthy, steady growth, and the development of 5G, internet of things and artificial intelligence will inject continuous impetus for the TV industry, Zhu added.
"I am optimistic about the growth of TV sales in 2018, owing to the upgrading of the consumption structure and stimulation from sports events, as well as the recovery of the property market and rapid growth of the housing rental market."
Moreover, the global panel manufacturing capacity will continue to increase this year. Panel prices are expected to fall, which will alleviate some cost pressures on TV companies, and the shipment of domestic TV manufacturers is expected to increase by 23 percent year-on-year.
Chinese major panel manufacturers are pressing ahead with ambitious expansion plans, investing heavily in display panels. BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, the country's biggest display producer, will continue to strengthen its position in the industry amid a surge in demand for large-sized high-definition panels.
Last December, BOE's Generation 10.5 TFT-LCD production line in Hefei, Anhui province, was put into production earlier than expected. The plant will produce high-definition LCD screens of 65 inches and more.