TAIPEI/HONG KONG/CHONGQING -- Global consumer electronics makers HP, Dell, Microsoft and Amazon are all looking to shift substantial production capacity out of China, joining a growing exodus that threatens to undermine the country's position as the world's powerhouse for tech gadgets.
HP and Dell, the world's No. 1 and No. 3 personal computer makers who together command around 40% of the global market, are planning to reallocate up to 30% of their notebook production out of China, several sources told the Nikkei Asian Review.
Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Sony and Nintendo are also looking at moving some of their game console and smart speaker manufacturing out of the country, multiple sources told the Nikkei Asian Review. Other leading PC makers such as Lenovo Group, Acer and Asustek Computer are also evaluating plans to shift, according to people familiar with the matter.
Tech companies' plans, spurred by the bitter trade battle between Washington and Beijing, have not changed despite the truce that was struck between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at last weekend's Group of 20 summit in Osaka. Multiple sources said the situation was still too uncertain, while rising costs in China were also prompting manufacturers to examine alternatives.
The decision by some of the world's biggest computer and game console brands to shift production -- mainly of products destined for the U.S. -- follows manufacturing reviews by other tech companies. Apple is exploring the cost implications of moving up to 30% of its smartphone production, Nikkei reported last month. Elsewhere manufacturers of servers, networking products, and some key electronics components are shifting out of China, often at the request of U.S. customers.
The moves will be a blow for China's electronics exports, which have powered the country's decades-long growth. China is the world's biggest producer of PCs as well as smartphones.
Total Chinese imports and exports in the electronics segment ballooned 136 times to $1.35 trillion in 2017 from just over $10 billion back in 1991, according to Chinese data provider QianZhan. Read more