Samsung to end Tianjin TV production, joining China exodus

SEOUL — Samsung Electronics will close its sole Chinese TV factory in Tianjin at the end of November, the South Korean electronics company said Tuesday, part of a greater trend of businesses shifting supply chains away from China.

Samsung, the world’s top seller of flat-screen TVs, has been losing market share in China due to the rising quality of local competition as well as boycotts triggered by Seoul’s decision in 2016 to deploy a U.S.-developed missile shield over Beijing’s objections. Labor costs also have been rising in China.

The Tianjin factory, which opened in 1993, employs about 300 people after several rounds of downsizing. Samsung plans to reassign these workers to other facilities or help them find new jobs as part of the closure.

Production from the factory will shift to Vietnam, Mexico, Hungary, Egypt and elsewhere. The move makes Samsung’s global production more efficient, the company said.

Samsung also shut its smartphone factories in Tianjin and the southern Chinese city of Huizhou before the end of 2019, and the company said in June that it would cease production at a computer factory in Suzhou. Samsung still operates an appliance factory in Suzhou and two chip factories in Xi’an.