Electronics Co, LG Electronics Inc and other companies in South Korea
are taking precautions against the coronavirus after a rising number of
cases in the country, including the infection of a Samsung employee at a
local production facility.
The country’s largest technology company
shut down operations at a plant in Gumi City over the weekend after the
employee tested positive for the virus, but resumed operations around
1:00pm local time yesterday. Samsung Electronics shares slid as much as
3.7% in Seoul.
While the novel coronavirus originated in China, it is
now spreading to other countries, including Korea with more than 750
confirmed cases. Companies from Japan to Singapore are taking steps to
limit the spread among employees and within their facilities.
Korea warned its fragile economic recovery is under threat from the
coronavirus that has spread dramatically across the country over the
past week, and pledged action to minimise the fallout. The won dropped
to a six-month low and stocks plunged after South Korea raised its
infectious-disease alert to the highest level as the outbreak worsened.
nation’s Centers for Disease Control said yesterday there are 161 more
virus cases, bringing the total to 763. The death toll rose by 2 to 7
people. The city of Daegu has seen a spike in cases in recent days.
Samsung case is troubling because Gumi has a collection of facilities
operated by Samsung, LG Electronics, LG Display, Toray Group and other
companies. Samsung has two production lines in Gumi, about 200
kilometres (124 miles) southeast of Seoul, for some of its smartphones.
been worried about disruptions in the tech supply chain that are
causing delays in importing parts from China,” said Lee Hang-koo, a
researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.
“But the problem is getting serious as infections are soaring near the
Gumi Industrial Park, a home-ground of plants producing core parts of
“Companies have shifted most of their
production to China and Vietnam for cost cutting but still high-tech
electronic parts are produced at home because of concerns about leaks in
core technology,” Lee added.
LG Electronics, which has TV plants in
the Gumi industrial complex, told workers who commute from Daegu to work
from home. LG Display has instructed workers who have visited the Daegu
area to not come into the office for two weeks, while headquarters
staff are restricted from visiting the region without approval from
management. An LG Electronics spokesperson said its research centre in
Incheon was shut after the company found out an employee’s family member
Samsung has shifted more than half of its smartphone
production to Vietnam but still produces some of its premium models at
the Gumi complex. The stoppage at the plant may affect production of
Samsung’s high-end models including the foldable Galaxy Z Flip and the