Seagate 'here to stay' despite factory closure

Updated 2017-01-18 11:15:51 China Daily

Seagate Technology Plc will continue investing in China as the U.S. hard-disk drive manufacturer expects the booming robotics and internet of things industries to revive demand for its products.

The announcement came shortly after the company closed its factory in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and laid off more than 2,000 employees.

"Our factory in Wuxi will remain one of only two final assembly factories at Seagate. And we plan to continue investment in the factory to optimize its operation in order to meet market demand," Seagate said in an email to China Daily on Tuesday.

"We look forward to new products being developed in surveillance, robotics, the internet of things and others sectors, which will increase demand for hard drive storage in the cloud," Seagate said.

The decision to close the Suzhou factory triggered widespread concern that the company is withdrawing its business from the world's second-largest economy, after U.S. president-elect Donald Trump said he would levy heavier taxes on U.S. firms which refuse to relocate jobs back to their home country.

Oracle Corp also plans to lay off 200 research and development staff at its Beijing office, according to one of the company's employees, who declined to be named.

Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecom industry website, said Seagate's move is more about business adjustment rather than a response to Trump's call.

"The computer storage industry is struggling with lower demand from consumers and businesses. It makes sense for Seagate to scale back its manufacturing capacity," Xiang said.

In the third quarter last year, Seagate shipped 38.9 million units of hardware. In comparison, the figure was 47.2 million in 2015.

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