Samsung confirms coronavirus case at South Korean factory

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A Samsung factory in South Korea was shut down after a confirmed case of coronavirus.

The facility in Gumi, near the Southeastern city of Daegu, was closed until early Monday morning and the floor on which the affected employee was working on will remain shut until early tomorrow.

“The company has placed colleagues who came in contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection,” a spokesperson told Reuters.

Samsung Coronavirus

Although the Gumi factory is only responsible for a small portion of Samsung’s total device output – the majority of production takes place in India and Vietnam – it serves as an example of the potential disruption the coronavirus could have on the mobile industry.

In China, there have so far been more than 77,000 confirmed cases of the virus, which is spreading to other countries. Iran, Italy and South Korea itself all reporting a major increase in cases over the weekend.

With China being a major manufacturing hub and significant market there are concerns that the disruption could be significant. Many companies have instructed employees to work from home and to minimise travel, however the technology sector is viewed as a “critical” industry, exempt from many restrictions.

Foxconn, which is a key assembler for many major device manufacturers, hopes to resume 80 per cent production by March.

Nonetheless, there could be a significant impact on China’s bid to be a leader in 5G. The country has made next-generation networks an economic priority, however rollout is being hampered by logistical and manufacturing issues – not least the deployment of fibre cables that support radio infrastructure.

Huawei however has said the outbreak will not affect its ability to supply its customers with 5G equipment.

Via Reuters

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.