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(2nd LD) Samsung temporarily moves smartphone production to Vietnam over virus case

All News 20:10 March 06, 2020

(ATTN: CLARIFIES 3rd para; ADDS more info in paras 4-5, 9)

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it will temporarily move some of its smartphone production to Vietnam, after shutting down a local factory following a positive coronavirus test there.

Samsung shut down the factory in the southeastern city of Gumi after a worker tested positive for the new coronavirus. Samsung said the plant will be closed through Saturday, while the floor where the employee worked will be shuttered through Sunday.

Samsung's premium smartphones, the Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy Note 10, for the domestic market were being mostly produced in Gumi. Its plant in Vietnam will put out up to 200,000 smartphones a month and they will be shipped to South Korea beginning late this month, according to Samsung.

Samsung said once the virus crisis calms down, the production allocated to Vietnam will be transferred back to Gumi.

Samsung currently runs smartphone factories in Vietnam's Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces. They account for half of the company's smartphone shipment worldwide.

The world's largest smartphone maker has so far reported six virus-infected workers at its production sites in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, only about 50 kilometers north of Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's virus outbreak.

In recent weeks, Samsung had to stop smartphone production lines in the city for days several times after its workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Samsung also reported a virus-infected worker at its foundry factory in Yongin, about 50 kilometers south of Seoul, last week but said its chip production has not been affected.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday visited the company's manufacturing facilities in Gumi and encouraged employees to work to overcome the crisis.

In this photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co., Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (R) inspects the company's factory in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, on March 3, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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