Sony’s camera production for Japan, U.S. and Europe has been shifted from China to Thailand

International Business News – Sony Group has shifted production of cameras sold in Japan, the United States and Europe from China to a plant in Thailand. The Chinese plant in principle produces only China-oriented products. The risk of China being at the heart of the global supply chain is increasing due to the intensification of the US-China confrontation and China’s strict epidemic prevention and control measures. To avoid dysfunction in the supply chain, companies are taking countermeasures.

Almost all cameras sold outside of China, including Japan, the U.S. and Europe, have been shifted to production at factories in Thailand. Due to the confrontation between China and the U.S., cameras for the U.S. were the first to shift production, and the shift for Japan and Europe is ending by the end of 2022. In the future, the Chinese plant will only produce products for the Chinese market, while retaining some equipment that can be supplied outside of China in case of emergencies such as disasters.

Sony is producing high-end mirrorless cameras under the “alpha” brand, among others. According to British research firm Euromonitor International, Sony’s camera sales in 2022 will reach about 2.11 million units worldwide. Of these, 150,000 are for China, and more than 90% are for products outside of China, such as Japan, the United States and Europe. Production of most products has been moved to Thailand.

Sony commented on the restructuring of the production system, saying that we also attach great importance to the Chinese market in the future and will not retreat from China. Regarding TVs, game consoles and lenses for cameras, etc., products made in China continue to be supplied outside of China.

The trend of adjusting the supply chain in China has also emerged one after another in other manufacturing companies. Canon closed some of its camera factories in China in 2022 and shifted production to domestic Japan. Daikin Industries is also discussing restructuring its supply chain in fiscal 2023 to produce air conditioners in the event of a lack of Chinese-made parts.

Sony’s global share of cameras will rank 2nd behind Canon in 2021, and sales of camera-related products will reach 414.8 billion yen in fiscal 2021 (as of March 2022), accounting for about 20% of its electronics business, including TVs.