Published: 09:15, February 12, 2020 | Updated: 08:01, June 6, 2023
Smartphone makers endeavor to keep factory lines running
By Ma Si

Huawei smartphones are on display at the company's recent Lunar New Year celebrations in Brussels. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Smartphone makers are work­ing hard to maintain normal oper­ations as the novel coronavirus outbreak is posing challenges to logistics, supply and manufactur­ing operations. 

The development momentum of Oppo won’t be changed, because the company’s fundamentals have not changed, and the trend of the entire industry has not changed.

Chen Mingyong, CEO of Oppo

The efforts came as a report forecast that due to the virus epi­demic, smartphone shipments from China will likely fall by 5 per­ cent this year, while global smart­ phone shipments are set to see a 2­ percent drop. 

Chen Mingyong, CEO of Oppo, a Chinese smartphone major, said it is undeniable that the outbreak will have a certain impact on the com­pany, but that will be temporary. 

“The development momentum of Oppo won’t be changed, because the company’s fundamen­tals have not changed, and the trend of the entire industry has not changed,” Chen said. 

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The Dongguan ­based company has been promoting remote work for most of its employees, and its manufacturing centers in Indone­sia, India, Algeria and Bangladesh will support the company to make handsets globally. 

The efforts follow market research company Strategy Ana­lytics’ latest report that the out­break of novel coronavirus will affect supply and manufacturing of smartphones, with the biggest impact likely to be on China’s smartphone market. 

China makes 70 percent of all smartphones in the world. Any delay in operations of factories, through quarantine or travel restriction, will inevitably cause a temporary labor supply shortage, Strategy Analytics said, adding that other connected economies will also feel a ripple effect, like Japan or the United States. 

Still, Chinese smartphone com­panies are scrambling to resume some of their work, while ensuring the health of their employees is not compromised. 

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said the company has restarted normal operations and produc­tion of consumer electronics and telecom equipment, with most of its recovered business located in Dongguan, Guangdong province. 

Vivo, another smartphone major, said the company has taken a string of measures to safeguard the health of its employees and it will continu­ously evaluate when to restore fac­tory production to normalcy. 

Xiaomi Corp is also working to maintain normal operations. The Beijing­ based company said it will unveil its latest flagship smart­ phone Mi 10 series on Thursday via online live-streaming. 

CITIC Securities Co Ltd said in its latest research note that elec­tronics companies will face risks of low output in February due to uncertainties involving labor shortage, but it is worth noting that companies that have overseas presence, high­ level automated production and are proficient in research and development will see fewer impacts from the epidemic. 

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CITIC Securities said for most companies in the electronics man­ufacturing industry, the first quar­ter is the traditional offseason, accounting for less than 20 per­cent of their annual revenues. The virus’ impacts on the industry still remain to be seen, it said.