BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- In an effort to
increase profits and avoid paying licensing fees, China's top electronics
makers on Wednesday in Beijing unveiled 54 video players made with a
homegrown DVD format in an effort to promote a Chinese alternative to
Enhanced Versatile Disc, known as EVD, is part of
state-backed efforts to introduce standards for mobile phones and other
products, while at the same time reducing dependence on foreign know-how and
possibly reap licensing fees if they are adopted abroad.
EVD was first released in 2003, but an effort to
promote it was dropped in 2004 after the players failed to become popular with
consumers and producers argued over licensing fees.
But now Chinese electronics makers are saying
they plan to switch completely to EVD by 2008 and no longer produce DVD players.
Electronics makers, film studios and retailers are promising to sell EVD discs
Chinese companies produce 80 percent of the world's
DVD players under their own brand names and for foreign electronics companies or
retailers. But manufacturers complain that fees paid to foreign owners of
technology cut into profits in a highly competitive industry.
Zhang Baoquan, general secretary of the EVD Industry
Alliance, a group promoting the EVD format, said he is confident sales in
China's consumer electronics market will be strong enough to support
producers after they stop making DVD players.
"By 2008, when EVD replaces DVD, there will be no
major impact on Chinese manufacturers," he said at a news conference.
The move also complicates the rivalry between
the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc next-generation video standards being promoted by
competing groups of U.S., Japanese and European companies.
Promoters of EVD say it provides crisper pictures and
sound, bigger recording capacity and better anti-piracy features than standard
On Wednesday, video players from 20 Chinese
manufacturers were revealed at a Beijing art gallery. They included models
from Haier Group, one of the world's top three appliance makers, and TCL Group,
which owns French television maker Thomson and the RCA brand.
Chinese sales of high-definition TV sets next year
are expected to grow by 60 percent to 8 million units, driving sales of video
players, Zhang said. He said producers plan to start trying to export EVD
machines next year.
The industry group says EVD
players will retail for about 700 yuan (87 U.S. dollars), about the same as a