Update: Samsung has now confirmed via Reuters that its last smartphone factory in China has indeed been shut down. According to a company official cited by the media outlet, Samsung will re-allocate the production equipment to other manufacturing sites “depending on our global production strategy based on market needs.”
Original story follows:
Samsung’s last smartphone manufacturing plant in China will be closing down at the end of the month, according to a recent report by Blogofmobile citing the Korean news outlet Chosun. Samsung’s Huizhou plant in the Guangdong province of China first fired up its conveyor belts in December 1992. Earlier this summer, Samsung decided to cut production and jobs at the Huizhou plant, signaling what will come to pass if the company’s influence in China will maintain its declining trajectory.
This shouldn’t be the end of Galaxy phones made in China
Samsung will continue to manufacture smartphones in its factories located in other countries including Vietnam and India. But as readers might be aware, Samsung has also been testing the waters with ODM devices manufactured under license by Chinese companies. Samsung's first two ODM devices – the Galaxy A6s and Galaxy A10s – have not been assembled in Samsung’s facilities, and we assume the closing down of the Haizhou plant won’t have any effect on how future ODM phones wearing the Samsung badge will be developed in China. In fact, earlier estimates suggest the company could ship up to 40 million ODM phones manufactured in China by the end of the year.
One of the more obvious reasons behind Samsung’s decision to shut down its last-standing smartphone manufacturing plant in China could be attributed to the company failing to make a dent into the local smartphone market. Time will tell how the climate will continue to shift and whether or not Samsung will eventually have reasons to make a return to manufacturing phones in China. Until then, the company's focus will shift to its factories located in other countries.