Rival companies take part in 10m yuan TV research business Skyworth Digital Holdings, the scandal-hit mainland television maker, has formed a 10 million yuan joint venture with rivals TCL Corp, Changhong Electric and Konka Group to research the liquid crystal display television business. Skyworth, whose founder and his brother face charges relating to an alleged misappropriation of $48 million, said the joint venture, to be known as Shenzhen Julong Optical-Electronic, would also gain the support of Shenzhen City Shenchao Technology Investment, an investment arm under the Shenzhen municipal government. The joint venture plans to research the thin film transistor (TFT) LCD business and may increase the scope of its investment later. Each partner will, for now, take an equal 20 per cent stake in the venture. 'It is well known that amid the drastic decline in market share of traditional CRT [cathode ray tube] colour television business, many major television makers are now transforming themselves into TFT-LCD businesses,' Julong said in a statement. Already used widely in computer monitors and more recently in television sets, TFT-LCD is a flat-panel display that provides better image quality than is possible with traditional CRT technology. Julong said the four firms already claimed more than 70 per cent of the country's colour television market. Skyworth is conducting research on LCD television at its headquarters in the Nanshan district science park in Shenzhen. Trading in Skyworth's shares resumed only this month after a year-long suspension was imposed on the stock. Skyworth's founder and former chairman, Stephen Wong Wang-sang, and his brother, Wong Pui-sang, face charges over the alleged misappropriation of $48 million from the company and alleged involvement in fraudulent share option deals. The brothers pleaded not guilty to the charges last week and the trial is expected to last until early next month. Separately, the company said in a stock exchange announcement yesterday that its unaudited management report showed that it sold 1.09 million television sets last month, up more than 36 per cent on November. However, compared with a year earlier, the figure dropped 7.2 per cent.