Panasonic Corp. is spending about 2 billion yen ($26 million) on a new equipment plant in China to meet the growing demand for smartphones and tablet computers.
Panasonic said Oct. 7 that the plant will begin operations in April. By next summer, the factory will assemble about 240 pieces of equipment used in the production of electronic circuits a month, almost the same number produced in Japan.
The new plant in Suzhou province will be located near an existing one that is being rented from the Chinese government and will be shut down. It has a monthly production capacity of 80 units.
The new site will be 3.5 times as large as the existing plant, and employ 650 people, up from the current 360.
Panasonic will also establish development and after-sales service divisions in China.
Panasonic uses about 10 percent of the electronic circuit-making equipment it produces within the group and sells the remainder to other companies.
Many factories that manufacture products for the world's electronics companies are located in East Asia, particularly in China.
The company is also building a parts factory for smartphones in Vietnam, and plans to move its divisions for international parts procurement and distribution from its headquarters in Osaka Prefecture to Singapore in fiscal 2012.
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