Written by Shruti Dhapola
| New Delhi |
Updated: March 23, 2020 8:42:11 pm
Coronavirus impact: Samsung, Oppo close factories. In this picture, Samsung’s Noida factory, which opened in 2018 and is the largest mobile phone factory in the world. (Image source: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in lockdowns in many states as India scrambles to curtail the spread of the pandemic. This has also meant that many companies now have to close down manufacturing units in view of the lockdown orders.
Samsung, which has its largest factory in Noida, has confirmed it will be suspending manufacturing. It has also implemented work from home for employees. “At Samsung, health and safety of employees is our highest priority. As a measure to safeguard our employees and their families against Covid-19 and in compliance with directives from the government, we have decided to currently suspend our manufacturing operations and have asked employees at our sales, marketing and R&D offices across India to work from home,” Partha Ghosh, Head, Corporate Communications, Samsung India said in a statement.
Other players like Oppo and vivo have also reportedly suspended their manufacturing operations, though the latter has not issued a formal statement.
“Safety of our employees is of utmost priority at OPPO. Keeping the recent outbreak of coronavirus in mind, a host of preventive measures have already been undertaken. Operations in our Greater Noida factory have been suspended as per the directive from the government. Additionally, all OPPO India employees have been advised to work from home until further notice. Our travel advisory is already in play and traveling interstate has been postponed for all employees. Currently, all OPPO employees are in good health and we are complying with guidelines of state and central government to control the epidemic and ensure safety of all OPPO staff,” Oppo said in a statement.
We also reached out to Xiaomi on whether its manufacturing would be impacted, and a company spokesperson said that “each facility such as corporate office, warehouse, Service center, Mi Home, Manufacturing plant will abide by the lockdown orders issued by the state and UTs.” Xiaomi relies on third-party contractor manufacturers for its manufacturing in India.
Realme has also suspended its manufacturing operations in Greater Noida since March 21, according to a statement from the company. The company said it was diligently complying with Government directives and advisories and is taking necessary precautions to ensure employee safety and well-being.
“While this will temporarily affect our inventory and supply in the market for some time, the safety of our workforce is of paramount importance to us. The company will resume manufacturing only after government’s notice while ensuring safety measures of all employees,” the statement added. The company also said the upcoming online launch of realme Narzo series was pre-recorded, while taking necessary measures to provide all staff and workers with a safe and healthy environment.
Coronavirus impact on India smartphone industry: What analysts are saying
The closing of manufacturing units will definitely have a negative impact on the Indian smartphone market. “We are expecting a major slump in consumer demand till June at least and demand is likely to shift towards the second half, especially festive season,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research said in a comment to indianexpress.com. He said the move was anyway expected and practical given the situation now.
The analyst also cautioned that the “second half recovery will be linked to the economic impact of the COVID-19”. He added: “Consumers may go for less expensive devices or buy in case of absolute necessity. We are expecting April and May will be hard and it all depends on how measures we are taking now impact the overall flattening of curve.”
“The outlook doesn’t seem very positive for second quarter. March would be impacted significantly as well. But the second quarter will be impacted both in terms of sell ins and now demand as well. Even if all goes well and markets and factories open by May, phone will not be a priority for most consumers considering the severe negative impact on earnings and incomes due to coronavirus led shutdowns,” Navkendar Singh, Research Director with IDC India told indianexpress.com.
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