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Samsung moves smartphone production to Vietnam amid virus

By
Im Min-cheol, UPI News Korea
Samsung Electronics workers roll out smartphones in the firm’s factory at Gumi, about 125 miles southeast of Seoul. Photo courtesy of Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics workers roll out smartphones in the firm’s factory at Gumi, about 125 miles southeast of Seoul. Photo courtesy of Samsung Electronics

SEOUL, March 9 (UPI) -- Samsung Electronics has temporarily moved its production of smartphones to Vietnam after closing its South Korean plant due to the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

The world's largest smartphone maker said Monday it had shut down and quarantined its Gumi factory, about 125 miles southeast of Seoul, over the weekend.

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During the past few weeks, six Samsung employees at Gumi tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the tech giant to shutter its plant three times. Gumi is located just north of Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's virus outbreak.

As the disruption continued, the company opted for the relocation of production. Its Gumi factory has mostly churned out premium products, including the Galaxy S20 series, the Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Z Flip.

Samsung is running two major smartphone factories at Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces in Vietnam, which account for about half of the firm's global production.

The company said its Gumi plant will take charge of the premium products again when the virus comes under control.

Samsung, which also the world's top memory chip maker, recently reported a virus-infected employee at its semiconductor factory just south of Seoul, but it has not affected chip production.

South Korea has seen hundreds of new COVID-19 infections a day, the largest cluster outside China, where the outbreak started in December.

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