Gadgets & Electronics, Law & Policy

Japanese Tech Companies Launch Recycling JV In China

Panasonic will cooperate with Hangzhou Dadi Environmental Protection Engineering Company Ltd., Dowa Holdings Company Ltd., and Sumitomo Corporation to form a jointly-held company, Panasonic Dadi Dowa Summit Recycling Hangzhou Company Ltd., in China.

The new joint venture will be engaged in the recycling of home appliances and electronics and is expected to start operation in January 2012. It will collect and disassemble used home appliances and electronics and sell recovered materials in compliance with the Chinese ordinance. In addition, it aims to be a model company for China with advanced recycling technologies. The four companies plan to invest JPY1.5 billion, about CNY120 million, in the joint venture, which will realize an annual processing capacity of one million units by 2015.

On January 1, 2011, an ordinance on the collection, processing, and management of waste electrical and electronic products was enforced by the Chinese government, with an aim to promote proper and safe disposal of waste home appliances. The ordinance applies to five types of electrical and electronic products, including TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and personal computers.

The amount of waste home appliances has been on rise in China, as the country's recent economic growth spurred the use and upgrading of electronic products among consumers. In Zhejiang, with a population of about 50 million, approximately 2.9 million units of waste home appliances were collected from 2009 to 2010, and the amount is expected to further increase.

Panasonic will be the first Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer to enter the Chinese recycling market. The new company will purchase the five types of waste home appliances from collection companies, disassemble them by using its advanced recycling technologies and facilities, and sell recycled materials to refining companies, plastics recyclers and manufacturers. With the establishment of Panasonic Hangzhou Dadi, the four companies look to contribute to environmental conservation and efficient use of recycled materials in China.

Financial terms of the joint venture have not yet been released.

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