Olympus shuts Shenzhen factory, shifts some work to Vietnam

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/9 21:23:40

Japanese camera producer Olympus Corp on Monday announced that it will close its factory in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, due to low productivity and a weakened competitive market position, according to media reports.

Olympus confirmed to domestic news site thepaper.cn late Tuesday that the digital camera market has shrunk sharply in recent years because of the popularity of smartphones. It also said that the output of Olympus (Shenzhen) Industrial has significantly dropped.

After 2008, the market for digital cameras quickly declined. By 2016, the market was just 20 percent of that in 2008, domestic news site stcn.com reported on Monday, citing a statement the company sent to employees.

A phone call by the Global Times to Olympus (Shenzhen) Industrial went unanswered on Wednesday.

Established in December 1991, the Shenzhen factory has found it hard to remain competitive as its equipment has become obsolete, thepaper.cn report said.

Olympus will halt production at its Shenzhen factory and shift the work elsewhere. It will focus production at its Olympus Vietnam Co factory in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai, according to the report.

The stcn.com report said that Olympus' Shenzhen plant also focuses on other two categories: vehicle-mounted products and microscopes.

It is uncertain whether the vehicle-mounted products business will continue, and the high-end microscope business will be transferred to Japan. Other production will move to Olympus (Guangzhou) Industrial.

Olympus is not the only company that is moving to shift production from China to Southeast Asia.

In January 2017, US hard disk manufacturer Seagate closed its plant in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province and shifted the work to Southeast Asia, according to media reports.

In October 2017, Japanese camera-maker Nikon announced the closure of its digital camera factory in East China's Jiangsu Province, blaming the rapid growth of smartphones.

Nikon also reportedly chose outsourcing plants in Southeast Asia, according to thepaper.cn.

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