Panasonic closes battery factory in Beijing, sheds 1,300 jobs

Company chooses to focus on higher-margin prospects, such as electric-car batteries

Tags: ChinaJapanPanasonic Corporation
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Panasonic closes battery factory in Beijing, sheds 1,300 jobs
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 27, 2015

Japan's Panasonic today announced it would shut down one of its Chinese factories, with the loss of 1,300 jobs.

The Beijing plant, which has been in service for 15 years, produces lithium-ion batteries for feature phones and cameras. Finnish telecoms vendor Nokia was its biggest customer before it sold its devices unit to Microsoft in 2014.

"The global market for these products has been shrinking," said Panasonic spokeswoman Yayoi Watanabe, adding that employees were told about the decision in late July.

The factory's closure will allow Panasonic to focus on higher-margin products in the home energy market, such as batteries for electric cars. The company has been shying away from consumer electronics such as TVs in the face of stiff competition from Asian rivals such as Panasonic.

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