If you bought a new TV in the last couple of years, there's a good chance it was made in China. Now the world's biggest television maker, China produced nearly 40 million sets in 2002--a quarter of the total global production--including those shown here at a high-tech expo in Beijing. Half of China's TVs are exported, and while the influx of low-cost sets into the United States and Europe has been a boon for consumers, competing producers are less happy. In May, the U.S. government slapped antidumping duties on Chinese sets. The European Union, meanwhile, limits the number of Chinese TVs that can be imported.
Many of the sets flagged as "Made in China" are merely assembled there from foreign-made components. Most Chinese large-screen plasma displays, for example, still rely on plasma panels shipped in from Japan and South Korea. But in thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays, the Chinese are gaining ground, with a handful of state-of-the-art LCD plants either under construction or planned. China is also one of the most promising markets for digital television, following the government's announcement to roll out digital broadcasting in time for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.