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Sony to exit the smartphone-factory in China, shifting production to Thailand

Security personnel stand outside a Sony smartphone plant, if workers leave the compound in Beijing, China March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp will close its smartphone plant in Beijing in the next few days, a spokesperson of the company said that, as the Japanese electronics giant aims to ensure that the costs in the loss-making business.

Sony will shift from the production to the factory in Thailand in a bid to halve the cost and turn the smartphone business profitable in the year from April 2020, the spokesman said on Thursday. He said that the decision was not related to the Sino-US trade frictions.

The Sony smartphone company is one of the few weak spots, and is bracing for a loss of 95 billion yen ($863 million) for the fiscal year that ends this month.

Some analysts say that Sony will sell the company in the midst of acute price competition with Asian rivals. The company has a worldwide market share of less than one percent, shipping only 6.5 million units this year, mainly for Japan and Europe.

But Sony has said that it has no intention to sell what he expects from smartphones to the central technologies for the fifth-generation wireless networks, where the cars and the various devices that would be connected.

Under the Japanese electronics companies, Fujitsu Ltd. last year sold its mobile phone business to investment fund Polaris Capital Group.

That left only three Japanese smartphone-makers – Sony, Sharp Corp and Kyocera Corp – in a global market dominated by Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and cheaper Chinese rivals.

Samsung late last year said it would cease operations on one of its mobile phone factories in China, as sales in the world’s largest smartphone market slumped.

Reporting by Pei Li in BEIJING, and Makiko Yamazaki in TOKYO; Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Stephen Coates

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