Samsung could face global supply issues as Vietnam sets quarantine

Vietnam is taking extra precautions against the new coronavirus outbreak, and it will quarantine all arrivals from South Korea for 14 days, all the while suspending Visa Waivers for tourists from South Korea, reports Nikkei. Around half of all the Galaxy smartphones sold worldwide are manufactured at Samsung’s facilities in Vietnam, and the state of quarantine could disrupt the company’s output, potentially leading to supply shortages.

Reports indicate that South Korea has become a coronavirus hotspot and presently has the second-most COVID-19 cases in the world (over 2,300), after China. The outbreak has disrupted the local economy, and even early Galaxy S20 sales in the country have been underwhelming because people aren’t in a hurry to visit local stores. Likewise, Samsung decided to temporarily shut down its Galaxy Z Flip factory in South Korea last week after one employee was found to carry the coronavirus infection.

Samsung’s two largest smartphone manufacturing plants are located in Vietnam

Vietnam has had only 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, and all of them have reportedly recovered. However, Vietnam also has the largest population of South Koreans in all of Southeast Asia, tallying at around 200,000. With many South Koreans – some of which are Samsung employees – flying in and out of the country, the Vietnamese government has decided that the best course of action against the coronavirus epidemic is to set a 14-day quarantine for every new arrival from South Korea.

Time will tell what kind of impact this quarantine might have on Samsung’s manufacturing schedule in Vietnam. The company’s products account for 1/4 of the country’s exports, and any disruptions there could create ripple effects around the globe, not to mention the local economy.

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