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Struggling Japan Display Said to be Receiving $100M Cash Infusion from Apple

Struggling Japan Display Said to be Receiving $100M Cash Infusion from Apple

Apple will soon give Japan Display Inc. (JDI) a cash infusion amounting to $100 million in an attempt to keep the struggling LCD display manufacturer’s head above water, says a report on Thursday.

Citing the ever-popular “sources familiar with the matter,” Asahi Shimbun reports Apple will increase aid to JDI through Chinese investment company Harvest Group which, along with Hong Kong fund Oasis Management, is negotiating a 58.2 billion yen (about $540 million) investment into the Japanese display maker.

Apple has initially planned to work with Taiwan-based electronics supplier TPK Holdings, which was part of a consortium negotiating a bailout of JDI. However, TPK dropped out of the negotiations earlier this month, keeping an estimated $230 million contribution safely in its pocket.

JDI had been requesting a much higher cash infusion, totalling $185 million, which also came with contingencies for waiving money owed and guaranteeing LCD orders.  A Wall Street Journal report claimed Apple was willing to consider that ask, but many observers believed Apple might not be willing to pay the full amount.

“We are not sure yet if we would really need to tap Apple to chip in, and the amount could be lower…, but they are at least showing willingness,” the person said. “You’d be surprised to see how supportive Apple is to us.”

It hasn’t been confirmed as to whether Apple will consider waiving JDI’s debt as part of the bailout.

JDI has been a major supplier of LCD screens for Apple’s iPhone for many years. However, the supplier made a crucial mistake when it continued to invest in LCD technology, even as the industry showed a trend toward OLED panels.

Apple debuted its first OLED handset in 2017 with the debut of the iPhone X. Last year, the firm debuted two new OLED devices, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The Cupertino firm is expected to offer an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020.

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