Samsung Electronics Co. has asked the Vietnamese government to permit the entry of its South Korean engineers, exempting them from the mandatory two-week quarantine of new arrivals from South Korea as not to disrupt operation for the production of its smartphones. The company also plans for the renovation of its Vietnam plant.
The South Korean tech company recently announced that it plans to move some of its smartphone production in Vietnam. Last week, the company shut down again its factory in Gumi of North Gyeongsang Province due to an employee testing positive for the new coronavirus.
Samsung mostly produces its premium smartphones, such as the new Galaxy S20 series and its Galaxy Note 10, for the Korean market in Gumi. According to the company, its plant located in Vietnam would manufacture up to 200,000 smartphones a month.
The Vietnamese government started suspending visa-free travel for Koreans since February 29 and also stopped distributing new work visas to curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to the government of Vietnam, even if Koreans could enter the country, they would need to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Samsung Display plans to dispatch about 700 engineers to support the company’s ongoing ramp-up at its factory situated in Bac Ninh, Northern Province of Vietnam. The plant ramp-up includes production for small and midsized organic light-emitting diode panel modules.
Samsung also runs its smartphone plants in the Thai Nguyen provinces. Both factories in Vietnam account for almost half of the company’s phone production worldwide.
The smartphone maker stated that once the virus outbreak calms down, the production assigned to Vietnam to minimize the supply setback, would re-allocate back to Gumi.
Samsung Electronics, so far, reported six workers tested positive for virus infection at its Gumi production sites. The factories are only 50 kilometers north of Daegu, considered as the epicenter of South Korea’s coronavirus spread.
Korea reported that as of the late afternoon of March 9, that it confirmed 7,478 cases of virus infection in the country. The death toll rose to 54 people.
Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics’ Vice Chairman on Tuesday last week, visited the company’s factories in Gumi, encouraging employees to work to overcome the crisis.