Samsung’s Chinese chip plant in emergency mode due to Covid lockdown

(IANS)┬áSamsung on Friday said its memory chip complex in the Chinese city of Xi’an went into an emergency mode as the Chinese authorities enforced a lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The South Korean tech giant said the emergency measure has not affected production as it has been fully utilising factory workers living in the company’s dormitory.

“The factory is currently fully operational,” a company official said, adding “We are closely watching the development of the situation” and the company is working on measures in case the lockdown is extended and starts to hamper production.

The city’s health authorities imposed stringent social distancing measures on Wednesday evening, requiring its 13 million residents to stay at home and banning non-essential travel or activities to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

The company is said to be considering measures such as having essential workers stay in the company’s facilities in order to minimise their contact with outsiders and consulting with the Chinese authorities to allow them to continue working, reports Yonhap news agency.

Samsung Electronics has invested more than $25 billion so far in the Xi’an manufacturing complex, Samsung’s only overseas facility that produces NAND flash memory chips.

The first plant began operation in 2014 and the second one opened in 2020. Combined, the Xi’an complex, which employs more than 3,300 workers, is estimated to produce nearly 40 per cent of the company’s NAND flash products.

Samsung was the world’s biggest NAND flash provider with a 34.5 per cent market share in the third quarter, according to analyst firm TrendForce.

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