Japanese firms suspend operations in China

Japanese firms suspend operations in China

Summary: Electronics manufacturers Panasonic, Canon and Sony have temporarily closed factories in China, following anti-Japan attacks to their properties in the country over disputed islands in the East China Sea.


Japanese technology manufacturers have temporarily closed factories in China following anti-Japan protests in the country over the East China Sea, according to several Reuters reports on Monday.

Panasonic had suspected productions of two electronics components plants in China and closed one factory, telling its workers to stay at home. This follows its facilities being attacked by anti-Japan protesters, and the firm said it will reopen after assessing the damages.

Another plant in China had been closed after several workers "sabotaged" operations in the factory, Atsushi Hinoki, a Tokyo-based Panasonic spokesperson told the newswire. The plant is set to remain closed until Tuesday.

Canon, too, had on Monday suspended operations at three of its four plants in China for two days. The plants include its laser printer factory and digital camera factory in the city of Guangdong, and a copier plant in Jiangsu, another Chinese. 

Another technology giant, Sony Electronics has discouraged non-essential travel to China over staff safety concerns. A company spokesperson in Shanghai who declined to be identified also told the newswire operations at Sony's offices in China will resume on Tuesday but the company was considering whether or not to take action regarding its retail outlets and factories.

Protests in China and attacks against Japanese firms begun on Saturday, following mounting tensions over a set of disputed islands in the East China Sea between China and Japan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei however, told reporters at a briefing it will protect Japanese citizens and property and urged anti-apan protests to express themselves in an "orderly, rational and lawful" way after the mass demonstrations. However, Hong noted it was up to Japan to correct its ways as the direction of developments was now in the country's hands.


Topics: Tech Industry, Government Asia, China

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • Completely unacceptable

    Attacks on foreign corporations are shocking and completely unacceptable. China isn't some Middle Eartern backwater with a barely functional central government, and armed militant factions roaming the streets. The Chinese Communist Party has a firm grip on all the levers of power, and if demonstrations arise and target foreign interests you can bet the Chinese government has a direct hand in it. It's shocking that so many foreign governments and corporations genuflect before such a country and its leaders. Of course, they do so because China's economy is rolling forward like a steam roller and it has an enromous population that could one day represent a massive market to be tapped. That doesn't make it any less depressing, though.
    • The source is obvious

      "(Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson) Hong noted it was up to Japan to correct its ways as the direction of developments was now in the country's hands." In other words, capitulate or this kind of hooligansim will continue.

      It's amazing that so many people and corporations so conveniently forget that China has twice in history federalized all foreign holdings and ejected the foreign owners. It would not be terribly surprising if it happens again once infrastructure is where the Chinese parliament wished. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -G Santayana.
      • Nationalization is happening every day in China.

        It's already happening, it's just not as overt as it was in the past. No, the Chinese aren't going to step in and nationalize the factories and dealerships of companies like General Motors or Sony and send their executive packing. But there through technology import laws, widespread industrial espionage and an utter failure to protect patent, trademark and copyright law, the Chinese government has already "nationalized" (read: stolen) a tremendous amount of these countries' intellectual property. And honestly, intellectual property is far more valuable than physical plants and property.
  • When you jump in bed with the Reds

    You basically play by their rules.
  • RE: Torouble

    If Israel /Iran and China and Japan go to to war at the same time that will be the end of our lifestyle as we know it for awhile. Never really fixing the issues that caused the 2008 collapse will come home to roost