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Revealed: Inside Apple-bothering Proview's crumbling factory

Ailing IPAD-trademark-row biz ideal setting for next zombie flick

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New pictures have emerged of the Shenzhen manufacturing base of Proview, the Taiwanese monitor maker currently winning an iPad trademark battle with Apple, and they don’t look good.

Chinese news site Caixin went to Guandong Province in south-west China to find out more about Proview and arrived at its flagship factory in the Yantian district of the city to find the place virtually deserted and falling apart.

As the photos show, the shutters are down on the factory, with rubbish strewn across the site, technology components ground into the dirt floor and a solitary employee apparently asleep in a chair.

In short, the place looks like the set of a zombie movie.

It wasn’t always this way for Proview, which was the world’s fourth largest flat panel display manufacturer at one time, according to Caixin. The monitor biz's website, meanwhile, proudly shows off shiny futuristic glass and metal offices and explains that its Wuhan and Shenzhen factories produce over 5m LED lighting products a year.

The firm was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1997 with a peak turnover of HK$25bn (£2bn), it continues.

However, the timeline on the company site tellingly stops in 2010.

Contrary to several reports, the company is still listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange but its days there appear to be numbered. It was placed in the third delisting stage by HKEx in December 2011 and it will be chucked out by the end of June if it doesn’t provide a “viable resumption proposal”.

In the meantime, and apparently in contrast to its fortunes elsewhere, the firm appears to be doing rather well in facing down the might of fondleslab purveyor Apple after winning a courtroom battle over the IPAD trademark last December.

Some iPad devices have been seized from retailers’ shelves in China and Proview has gone for the jugular in asking for imports and exports from the country be stopped. Such a move would halt global supply lines for Apple given its iPad is made in China.

Reports have also suggested Proview is holding out for a damages payment in excess of $1.5bn.

Looking at its Shenzhen factory, the company could do with the money. ®

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