Samsung and LG suspend factories in India over COVID-19 outbreak

The global COVID-19 pandemic is now affecting the tech powerhouses' supply chain outside of South Korea.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung and LG have suspended their factories in India following requests from local government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Samsung will shut down its smartphone factory at Noida, based in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, from March 23 to 25.

"Following the Indian government's policy, we will temporarily halt operations of our Noida factory until the 25th. We will work hard to make sure there is no setback in supplying our products," a Samsung spokesperson told ZDNet.

The factory is the South Korean tech giant's largest smartphone factory. It produces 120 million units per year.

Earlier this month, Samsung suspended smartphone production in Gumi, South Korea after it discovered that some of its employees working there contracted COVID-19. The company then proceeded to temporarily shift its production to Vietnam.

At the annual shareholders' meeting last week, company co-CEO HS Kim warned that while the growth of COVID-19 has begun to slow down in South Korea, its impact on the rest of the world was only just starting.

"We are yet to fully determine how COVID-19 will impact distribution and consumers. We will conduct research further to prepare for it," Kim said.

Compatriot LG will also shut down its home appliance factory at Noida, and another at Pune, until the end of the month following orders from India's state governments. 

In South Korea, LG has also closed down a research centre and suspended production for one of its factories due to some of the employees stationed there having contracted COVID-19.

As of Monday, the country has 8,961 confirmed cases of the virus, with 111 dead. As of the start of the outbreak, 338,036 people have been tested for COVID-19.


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