Sat, May 17, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Taiwanese factories restart operations in Vietnam

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

More Taiwanese companies resumed operations at their factories in Vietnam yesterday after the worst of anti-China protests in the nation appeared to be over, company officials said.

Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co (正新橡膠), the world’s ninth-largest tire maker, said its local division in Vietnam restored operations yesterday because no protesters were in sight near the industrial zone.

On Wednesday, protesters broke in and looted the office of the company’s Vietnamese division, forcing the company to evacuate 12 employees, Cheng Shin financial director Richard Lo (羅永勵) said.

Lo said that the 12 employees were back on the job yesterday.

Lo estimated that the damage would be mild, as facilities were still intact.

Formosa Industries Corp (台灣興業), a subsidiary of the Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), said it resumed operations on Thursday after local police provided more security.

“Local police departments deployed more personnel to the industrial zone on Thursday, and they started arresting people who broke the law,” Formosa Industries Corp president Hong Fu-yuan (洪福源) said by telephone yesterday.

Because computer equipment had been destroyed or stolen, Formosa Industries Corp will not be able to operate under full capacity until the end of this month, Hong said.

Both companies will be keeping an eye on nationwide demonstrations against China scheduled for tomorrow, Hong and Lo said.

The industrial zone is owned by Formosa Industries Corp, and it rented half of the land to other companies, including Cheng Shin, Hong said.

Meanwhile, other Vietnamese divisions of Taiwanese companies located further from the scenes of unrest also resumed operations yesterday, including apparel maker Makalot Industrial Co (聚陽實業) and China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation’s only integrated steel maker.

Located in Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Makalot’s division remained relatively intact during the protests, but it still decided to shut down its local subsidiary for one-and-a-half days starting on Wednesday.

Makalot’s operations in Vietnam accounted for 26 percent of its NT$17.91 billion (US$594 million) in revenue last year, it said.

China Steel’s local division China Steel Sumikin Vietnam Joint Stock Company (CSVC), which is in Ba Rja-Vung Tau Province, also sent 840 of its employees, including 70 from Taiwan, back to work yesterday.

The company sent its employees to Ho Chi Minh City for safety reasons after the protests started, but it did not suffer any damage during the protests, CSVC vice president Lin Horng-nan (林弘男) said.

The firm produces 400,000 tonnes of steel a year, Lin said.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc, yesterday said it would shut down its Vietnam factory for three days due to safety concerns.

The company’s statement came amid growing fears that the anti-China protests will escalate and spread from Pinh Duong Province in the south, which was hardest hit.

Hon Hai’s factory is in Vinh Phuc Province in northeastern Vietnam, which is far from the riot-hit areas. The company primarily designs and produces mobile phone components at the factory.

Additional reporting by Lisa Wang

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