Japan’s Panasonic Corp. has stopped making televisions in China because of severe price competition and slowing market growth.
The decision to shut production in the mainland is part of efforts to shore up the struggling television business, which recorded losses for six straight years, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing a company source.
Other Japanese manufacturers are also facing trouble with their overseas TV operations.
Toshiba Corp. recently said it will withdraw from the TV manufacturing business outside of Japan. Sharp Corp. plans to scale back its operations.
Panasonic halted production at its TV factory in Shandong province earlier this week and it will close the 80 percent-owned local subsidiary that owns the plant.
Several hundred employees are likely to be dismissed as their employment contracts expire by March this year, the source was quoted as saying.
The company, which has been selling 200,000 TV sets a year in China, will continue to market Panasonic-brand products by procuring from other manufacturers.
Panasonic’s TV factories in Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia will continue to operate as they focus on more profitable high-end products.
Panasonic has recently been taking steps to diversify its operations, including investing in a new lithium-ion battery factory of Tesla Motors Inc., Elon Musk ’s US electric vehicle company.
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