Due to political pressure and the need for supply chain diversification, more companies are moving production out of China and into other countries.
Apple reportedly plans to move some of its production from China to India and Vietnam.
Canon moved production away from China last year; Dell has announced it’s phasing out China-made computer chips by 2024, and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies are following suit.
Now it’s being reported Sony Group has transferred more than 92% of its camera production from China to Thailand.
According to Nikkei (soft paywall), a respected Japanese financial publication, Sony plans only to manufacture cameras sold in China in China.
Cameras sold in Europe, Japan, and the United States will be made in Thailand.
According to Nikkei, this decision was made for two main reasons.
First is the political animosity between China and other nations around the globe, most notably the U.S., which is currently in the middle of a trade war with China.
Second is the need for Sony to diversify its supply chain as a result of the various lockdowns China has implemented as part of its ‘Zero COVID’ policy that saw factories shut down frequently, causing all kinds of supply chain shortages as production ground to a halt, sometimes for weeks at a time.
Nikkei reports Sony sold approximately 2.1 million cameras globally in 2022. Of those, only 150,000 units were sold in China, only 7.1% of Sony’s units.
That means this move out of China will affect over 92% of Sony’s camera units sold worldwide.
Interestingly, Nikkei says lenses will continue to be produced in China, although it’s possible that the move to making cameras elsewhere could see lens production follow suit in time.