Samsung’s sole Chinese TV factory in Tianjin is scheduled to be closed at the end of November, as part of a greater trend of businesses shifting supply chains away from China, the South Korean electronics company said Tuesday.
Mexico, Hungary, Egypt are three other new production sites Samsung is targeting, together with Vietnam. The move is reportedly would make Samsung’s global production more efficient, the company said.
As reported by Nikkei Asia Review, Samsung, the world’s top seller of flat-screen TVs, has been losing market share in China due to the rising quality of local competition as well as boycotts triggered by Seoul’s decision in 2016 to deploy a U.S.-developed missile shield over Beijing’s objections. Labor costs also have been rising in China.
The Tianjin factory, which opened in 1993, employs about 300 people after several rounds of downsizing. Samsung plans to reassign these workers to other facilities or help them find new jobs as part of the closure.
Samsung also shut its smartphone factories in Tianjin and the southern Chinese city of Huizhou before the end of 2019, and the company said in June that it would cease production at a computer factory in Suzhou. Samsung still operates an appliance factory in Suzhou and two chip factories in Xi’an.
In the 2008 – 2018 period, Samsung increased its total investment in Vietnam from US$670 million to over US$17.3 billion, a 26-fold increase.
In early March, Samsung Vietnam started construction its largest R&D center in Southeast Asia in the west of Hanoi at a cost of US$220 million. The company expected Vietnam would not only be its largest production hub, but also a strategic base for R&D, according to Hanoi Times.
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