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.
- What is 5G? Everything you need to know
- Foxconn to resume 'half production'
- Apple shuts all Chinese stores due to 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.
- Check out our list of the best business smartphones for 2020