Nintendo Switch (To Cambodia)

TOKYO – Japanese electronic device maker MinebeaMitsumi Inc. will shift part of its video game console production operation to Cambodia from China, a company spokesman told NNA on Tuesday, with the outcome of the United States-China trade row remaining uncertain.

The move by MinebeaMitsumi, a supplier to video game giant Nintendo Co., comes after the United States canceled last week its planned punitive tariffs on video game consoles, among other products, shipped from China.

MinebeaMitsumi will introduce upgrades to its plant located in a special economic zone in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, planning to have the assembly of video game consoles for export at full capacity from 2020.

Production has partially started already, the spokesman said, while declining to disclose the amount of investment or planned output capacity.

He said they plan to beef up production in Cambodia overall, where they currently make products such as ball bearings and LED backlights under its local arm, Minebea (Cambodia) Co., and expand the number of workers to 20,000 from 7,000 in the next few years.

Nintendo, which made up 16.4 percent of MinebeaMitsumi’s sales in the fiscal year through March 2019, revealed in July its plan to shift part of its Switch console production from China to Vietnam.

It said the decision to move production of the popular video game console was made to avoid future uncertainty, after opposing the U.S. tariffs in a joint statement released in June. (NNA/Kyodo)

Some production was also reported as being switched to Vietnam earlier this year.

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