Google is reportedly planning to begin manufacturing its Pixel smartphones in Vietnam due to the escalating US-China trade war.
China’s increasing labour costs are another factor behind the proposal, which would see Google setting up a production facility in Vietnam to enable a cheaper supply chain across Southeast Asia, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
Google expects to ship 8 million to 10 million Pixel devices this year, a twofold increase on 2018. It is reportedly looking to shift production out of China for any devices that will be sold in the US, with plans to begin manufacturing the Pixel 3A model in Vietnam by the end of 2019.
Vietnam is not the only market that has piqued Google’s interest, with reports that it may shift production of its smart speaker Google Home to Thailand. However, China will remain its base of operations for product development.
Google may not be the only US company to shift production away from China, with Apple CEO Tim Cook noting that the current trade war would likely put Apple at a disadvantage against South Korea’s Samsung.