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|Google, Microsoft accelerate shifting production to Vietnam, illustration photo|
Google and Microsoft are accelerating efforts to shift production from China to Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, amid the worsening novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Google is set to begin production of its Pixel 4A with its partners in northern Vietnam as soon as April.
The company also plans to manufacture its next-generation smartphone, the Pixel 5, as it is expected to be called, in the second half of this year directly from Vietnam, two people with direct knowledge told Nikkei.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is scheduled to start producing its Surface line, including notebook and desktop computers, in northern Vietnam in the second quarter of this year at the earliest, another two sources familiar with the matter said.
Most if not all Google smartphones and Microsoft-built computers have been made in China so far.
The US-China trade war, along with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, caused many industries to consider the risks of overreliance on China for manufacturing.
"The unexpected coronavirus hit will definitely push electronics builders to further seek production capacity outside their most cost-effective production base of China," Nikkei quoted a supply chain executive as saying.
Microsoft declined to comment. Google did not respond to Nikkei's request for comment as of publication.