Taiwan tech company shuts China plant amid sluggish tablet demand
HONG KONG/TAIPEI – A Taiwan company that makes backlight modules used in Apple Inc’s iPad as well as other products said it was closing one of its China factories due to sluggish global demand for tablets.
Taiwan-based Coretronics Corp has closed the factory in China’s eastern city of Nanjing and laid off about 200 employees, a company spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday.
The closure comes as global shipments for monitors, notebooks and tablets are projected to drop an average 10 percent on-year respectively in 2015, according to research firm WitsView. Overall demand is likely to remain stagnant because various applications markets are becoming saturated, it said.
Coretronics spokeswoman Cindy Wen declined to say which products are produced at the Nanjing plant, or give details about its size. She said Coretronics’ six other panel plants in China are still in operation.
Coretronics plants in Nanjing and Guangzhou in southern China are listed under Apple’s 2015 supplier list.
“Since last year the growth of tablet sales has become worse than previous years, and the market demand has been declining for several quarters,” Wen said.
“We might make some further adjustments in our production capacity in the future, but at the moment we do not have plans to close down more factories,” she added.
The plant’s closure comes after Taiwan’s export orders, a leading indicator of global tech demand, fell for the sixth month in a row in September as the economy of China, Taiwan’s largest trading partner, slows. Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. -Reuters