Google and Microsoft are accelerating efforts to shift production of their new phones, personal computers and other devices from China to Southeast Asia amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak, with factories in Vietnam and Thailand expected to be the beneficiaries, reported Caixin.
Google is set to begin production of its latest low-cost smartphone — expected to be dubbed the Pixel 4A — with its partners in northern Vietnam as soon as April.
Until now, most if not all Google smartphones and Microsoft-built computers have been made in China. The US-China trade war caused many industries — especially technology — to consider the risks of overreliance on China for manufacturing. The coronavirus has only added to concerns about concentrating production too heavily in one place.
“The unexpected coronavirus hit will definitely push electronics builders to further seek production capacity outside their most cost-effective production base of China,” a supply chain executive said to Nikkei Asian Review. “No one could ignore risks after this. … It’s more than just cost — it’s about continuity of supply chain management.”