Samsung, OPPO, Vivo temporarily suspend smartphone production in India due to COVID-19
As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) tightens its grip and forces upon the world an inevitable lockdown, businesses have no other option but to let employees stay at home. While the internet empowers most of the workforce to operate remotely, many other commercial operations including manufacturing are being hampered significantly. Taking the surging number of Coronavirus cases into consideration, several electronics manufacturers including Samsung, OPPO, Vivo have halted the production of smartphones in India till at least March 25th.
These announcements come after the several state governments including the one governing India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (UP), announced a lockdown on commercial activities including manufacturing in their respective state. The orders, therefore, also impact the manufacturing plants of Samsung, OPPO, and Vivo located in Greater Noida, a suburban city in UP and close to India’s national capital, New Delhi. As per the state government’s orders, the factories must remain closed at least till March 25th or until further notice.
Samsung’s Greatest Noida factory is its largest manufacturing facility in the world where it produces 120 million smartphone units every year. Other than smartphones, the factory also produces a wide range of Samsung’s home appliances like smart TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. Samsung India’s spokesperson shared the following statement with ZDNet.
The company also shut down production in Gumi, South Korea and shifted production to Vietnam recently after a factory worker tested positive for Coronavirus.
Another source told The Economic Times that besides temporarily shutting operations at its Greater Noida factory, Samsung has instructed the R&D employees working at the factory to work from home. Vivo, meanwhile, has asked all non-factory workers to work from their homes. We reached out to Vivo but were declined any comment on the impact of this lockdown on production.
LG has also reportedly stopped production at its home appliances plants in Greater Noida and another one in Pune, located in the state of Maharashtra in Central India, until March 31st. Similar to Samsung, LG also had to shut down production at one of its plants in Korea after a few employees were found to have been infected by the COVID-19 virus.
In contrast, the operations of Ericsson and Nokia, two of the largest telecom equipment manufacturers in India, are continuing with production at their factories in Pune and Chennai, located in states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, respectively. Ericson told The Economic Times that the factory is currently operating with 50% workforce under “exemption granted by the relevant authorities“.
We can expect other smartphone and electronics manufacturers to follow the suit and halt production at their plants across the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’re awaiting similar statements from other companies and will update the article when we hear from them.