Samsung Electronics has temporarily relocated part of its smartphone production from South Korea to Vietnam after it had to close its factory in Kumi due to the diagnosis of a coronavirus from a staff member.
Samsung said the factory will be closed until Saturday, and the employee’s floor will be closed until Sunday. The factory in Kumi produces premium smartphones Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 10 and folding smartphones Galaxy Z Flip.
The factory in Vietnam will produce up to 200 thousand smartphones per month. They will be shipped to South Korea from the end of this month. Samsung noted that as soon as the situation with COVID-19 stabilizes, the company will return production to Kumi.
The world’s largest smartphone maker, to date, has reported six virus-infected workers at its production facilities in Kumi, just 50 kilometers north of Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in South Korea.
In recent weeks, Samsung has had to stop smartphone production lines in the city for several days after workers got a positive result on COVID-19.
Last week, Samsung also reported a virus-infected worker at its Yongin factory, located about 50 kilometers south of Seoul, but reported that chip production was not affected.
Manufacturers are facing a drop in sales
The impact of the epidemic on the industry began with the abolition of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Many factories in China where smartphones are assembled are stopped. And many manufacturers, including Samsung, have already faced a drop in sales.
Samsung’s main rival, American Apple, has already warned that a coronavirus outbreak will adversely affect the company’s revenue. Analysts at Needham & Company believe that the situation with demand and supply can only normalize by June 2020, which is two months later than previously expected.
IPC, which unites electronics companies around the world, said last week that suppliers advised members to prepare for delivery delays of an average of three to five weeks. Factories in China are central to the supply of the electronics industry, and manufacturers are increasingly worried that coronavirus disruptions could delay production for several weeks.