One of the largest manufacturers of optics and imaging products, Nikon, announced today that it had to shut down a factory in Eastern China that was responsible for assembling cameras. The instance reminds us that rise of smartphones is eventually killing all the other standalone gizmos available in the market including the music players, cameras and navigation devices.
Operations at the factory had stopped a while back and now the employees of the workplace will be dismissed. The factory used skills of 2,200 workers who worked on assembling the Nikon 1 series of interchangeable lens cameras since 2002. Nikon has announced that the employees of the factory will be compensated at higher standards than required to meet the Chinese law.
Nikon's spokeswoman Luan Xiaofei stated, "We will move some production lines elsewhere, with Thailand being one of the destinations. But none of the plants will produce the same models of cameras we used to make in Wuxi."
"We foresee that there will be more plant closures by multinationals in China in the coming future," said Li Jin, chief researcher with the China Enterprise Research Institute, a government-backed think tank in Beijing. "It will cost jobs, but such multinationals left behind a trained labor force which could be used by newcomers on the higher end of value chain."
Nikon said it remains committed to China, and its operations in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces that make components for cameras are unaffected, according to its spokeswoman Luan.