At the beginning of October, for the Chinese people, everyone is celebrating the peaceful atmosphere of the National Day, but for Samsung’s Chinese factory, it is busy clearing and closing. On October 2, Samsung’s last mobile phone factory in China closed. Why did the first Samsung mobile phone leave China?
1. The last Samsung factory in China
On October 2, according to Reuters, Samsung Electronics said that the company had stopped producing mobile phone products in China due to increasingly fierce competition from domestic competitors in China. This also means that Samsung’s last factory in China, located in Huizhou, Guangdong, has also shut down.
On Sina Weibo, some netizens shared a video of resignation. The video shows that the female employee who has worked for more than 10 years, after completing the signing procedures, also received a Samsung Galaxy S10+ as a souvenir.
“In the past 27 years since entering China, Samsung has followed the industry guidance of the Chinese government and adjusted its industrial layout in a timely manner to adapt to the rapid development and changes of the Chinese market. The adjustment of the Huizhou factory this time is a normal industrial adjustment; Samsung’s industrial layout in China has transformed into The high-end manufacturing industry in line with the direction of the Chinese government has continued to invest in high-end industries in China in the past six years, with an amount exceeding US$20 billion, which is much higher than the amount of industrial adjustments, and will continue to invest in high-end industries in China in the future.” This is Samsung Statement to the media.
The Huizhou factory is of great significance to Samsung, and it is one of its first factories in China. According to the data of Qixinbao, the Huizhou Samsung factory located in Chenjiang Town, Huicheng District, Huizhou City was established in 1992 and officially put into operation in 1993. It is the main production base of Samsung in China. The factory covers an area of 120,000 square meters, with a construction area of 35,000 square meters. In 2006, it began to introduce mobile phone production. It has 40 GSM/CDMA/3G mobile phone production lines and more than 30 SMD fully automated production lines. In June 2019, the factory’s smartphone production capacity was about 400,000 units per month. With the closure of the Huizhou factory, Samsung’s mobile phone production in China has come to an end.
But, can we say that Samsung phones are dead? From the perspective of the Chinese market, Samsung is indeed doing very poorly. According to the “Beijing Daily” report, with the sharp drop in sales of Samsung mobile phones in the Chinese domestic market, it has been unable to provide enough orders for Chinese factories, and the ever-increasing manpower Such costs have also exacerbated the difficult situation of Chinese factories. Data show that in the second quarter of 2019, Samsung’s mobile phone market share in China was 1%, and its shipment volume was 800,000 units. For comparison, Huawei shipped 35.2 million units during the same period.
Once we look at this data on a global scale, things don’t seem so simple. Taking the data in the second quarter of 2019 as an example, Samsung’s sales volume was 76.3 million units, Huawei’s sales volume was 58.7 million units, and Apple’s sales volume was 38 million units. Samsung is still the global leader. The number one mobile phone giant, but for the Chinese market, Samsung has lost its proper position. So, why did Samsung leave China, and how should we view Samsung’s departure?
Second, how should we view Samsung’s departure?
When the Samsung China factory was closed, we saw a lot of media saying that Samsung left as a loser, but what we saw was not that simple. We saw that Samsung’s departure was not trivial It is chaotic, and there is no phenomenon of employees asking for salary. Everything seems to be in order. We can even sort out the context of Samsung’s departure step by step. From March this year, the Huizhou factory stopped recruiting, and began to lay off workers in June this year. Afterwards, the Samsung factory repeatedly released the recruitment facts of BYD, TCL and other electronics companies through the platform of the official WeChat public account, and held special presentations for employees to encourage them to find their next job. On October 2, when the Samsung factory was closed, the employees basically received compensation. On the basis of the settlement of wages, mobile phone benefits were paid to all employees. Samsung A8 under ten years; more than ten years S10+, employees with more than 20 years of experience will add a Samsung Note10 on the basis of S10+, and each will be issued a watch.
All these signs indicate that Samsung’s departure is not a rout, but an orderly retreat, so what is the purpose of Samsung’s retreat?
First of all, it is time for Samsung to go, the general trend of industrial transfer. If we carefully study Samsung’s development history, we will find that the most important reason why Samsung chose China to build a factory is that in the 1990s, China’s reform and opening up, the market economy system was fully established, and the Chinese labor force at that time , land is very cheap, at this time to build a factory can fully enjoy the advantages of China’s preferential policies, demographic dividends, and cheap land. South Korea mainland transferred to China. However, nearly 30 years have passed, and China’s economy has developed by leaps and bounds, and China’s economic level has advanced by leaps and bounds. Under such circumstances, the demographic dividend of China’s labor force is disappearing, and China’s production costs are also increasing. The trend of transformation is also very obvious. If Samsung stays in China, the cost will also rise accordingly. Therefore, Samsung chose to leave China and go to Southeast Asian and South Asian countries such as Vietnam and India, which are cheaper. According to data, as of April last year, Samsung’s The total investment in Vietnam is as high as 17.3 billion US dollars, and 8 manufacturing plants have been built locally, mainly producing smartphones and Electronic parts. Last year, Samsung invested 4.7 billion yuan in India to build the world’s largest mobile phone factory.
Secondly, Samsung is really a fiasco in China’s mobile phone market. If cost advantages such as manufacturing demographic dividends are disappearing, Samsung’s consumer market recession is also an important reason for Samsung’s departure. In addition to low costs, China is also the world’s largest consumer market. China, which has the world’s largest population base, is worthy It is called the treasure land of the mobile phone market, but this treasure land is a blessed land for other mobile phone brands, not Samsung. According to data from a number of survey agencies, Samsung’s mobile phone market share in China in 2018 was 0.8%, which is almost negligible. In the first quarter of this year, Samsung’s mobile phone market share in China was 1.1%, and its shipments exceeded 1 million units. With the old rival Apple and the new rival Huawei, in the mid-to-low-end mobile phone market, it has also encountered siege from Xiaomi, OPPO, and VIVO. With the rise of domestic mobile phones in China, Samsung has gradually lost its previous advantages and become a Second-tier or even third-tier mobile phone brands. Because, without the Chinese market, it becomes meaningless to produce mobile phones in China.
Third, the departure of Samsung mobile phones does not mean the departure of Samsung. It is true that Samsung closed its mobile phone factory in China, but friends who know the Samsung Group know that Samsung does not only have a product line of mobile phones, but a diversified and global industrial group. Samsung seems to be deploying itself in China. For the higher-end electronics industry, public data shows that Samsung’s new investment in China from 2013 to 2018 was 22.8 billion US dollars (equivalent to about 162.4 billion yuan). Previously, according to the disclosure of Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Zone, Samsung is accelerating the construction of new projects such as MLCC factories (multilayer ceramic capacitors) and power battery production lines. And Samsung’s semiconductor factory in Xi’an is also under construction in full swing. It is reported that the total investment of this factory exceeds 114 billion yuan. Many signs are showing that for Samsung, China is changing from a labor factory at the bottom of the smiling curve to a region that undertakes the transfer of Samsung’s high-end manufacturing industry. If this trend has formed, it means that China’s industrial transformation and upgrading is playing a positive role. As a result, China’s attractiveness to the world’s high-end manufacturing industry is constantly increasing.
We cannot simply see Samsung’s closing and leaving, let alone regard Samsung as a failure. There are more deep meanings behind Samsung’s departure. Do you understand these deep reasons?
Text/Jiang Han Vision
The Links: G084SN05 V3 PM300RLA060