Fifty-one-year-old Lee Jae Joon, from the Republic of Korea (ROK), has worked and lived in China for 19 years. He has witnessed the booming development of the new display industry in China.
After staying in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Chengdu for years, Lee moved to Hefei, the capital of eastern Anhui Province, in 2021 to become the general manager of Hefei Dongjin Semichem Co., Ltd. from the ROK.
The new display has become a “landmark industry” in Hefei in recent years. With a complete industrial chain covering equipment, materials, devices, panels, modules, and intelligent terminals, Hefei is speeding up its development into the world’s capital of the display industry.
Taking advantage of the opportunities brought by the industry development, Dongjin Semichem, which mainly produces stripping agents and etching agents required for LCD manufacturing, invested and built a factory in Hefei in 2010, aimed at integrating into the industrial chain of the city’s display industry.
“We went through two rounds of expansion with a total investment of about 26 million U.S. dollars. The production capacity has increased from 700 tonnes per month in the beginning to about 1,500 tonnes now, with the monthly sales exceeding 10 million yuan (about 1.47 million U.S. dollars),” Lee said.
To further expand the scale of foreign investment and promote the signing of investment projects, Hefei organized a six-member economic and trade delegation to the ROK in September 2022. The delegation visited eight cities and 13 companies in just one week, including Dongjin Semichem and the country’s display industry association.
The delegation made remarkable achievements. It negotiated and promoted 12 key projects with ROK companies from the display and integrated circuit industries and signed six agreements with a total investment of nearly 2 billion yuan.
Dongjin Semichem also intended to invest in semiconductor photoresist materials and other projects in Hefei, in addition to electronic display materials.
In Lee’s eyes, China has become his second hometown. “After I came to Hefei, I saw clean streets and large parks. The subway has opened, and it’s very convenient to get around,” Lee said in fluent Chinese.
Like Lee, Anthony Kang is also from the ROK and came to Hefei in April 2022. He now works as the chief information officer of Visionox Technology Inc., mainly responsible for the Chinese company’s digital production. The Hefei factory of Visionox, a new display solution provider, has 18 ROK experts.
“There are about 150 people on my team, and I am happy to share my working experiences with them,” Kang said.
With more ROK nationals coming and working in Hefei, Korean cuisine has become popular in the city. In Hefei Xinzhan High-tech Industrial Development Zone alone, there are 10-plus Korean restaurants.
Shao Rui, a resident of Hefei, has many years of experience cooking Korean food and went to the ROK for further study. Shao has opened two Korean restaurants.
“I have met many people from the ROK in Hefei in recent years. Some stay in Hefei for a short time, and some have lived here for more than 10 years. They have witnessed my hometown’s industry and economic development,” Shao said.