Japan's OKI shifting printer production in China to Thailand

©Kyodo News

Japanese IT maker Oki Electric Industry Co., known as OKI, will stop manufacturing printers in China and shift printer production to Thailand as part of efforts to focus on competitive products amid a growing paperless trend.

Its Chinese unit OKI Electric Industry (Shenzhen) Co. will end printer production in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, next month and OKI Data Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., its Thai arm, will take over production at its plant in the central province of Ayutthaya, OKI said Thursday.

The Chinese unit was established in 2001 and started manufacturing printers the following year for sale in China and global markets.

Sales of printers and maintenance services in China will be continued, with OKI's plant in Fukushima, northeastern Japan, providing some repair parts, the Tokyo-based maker said.

Set up in 1994, the Thai subsidiary manufactures printers at its plant in Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya.

After the production shift from China, it will target specific markets such as healthcare and retailing with advanced printers for business use, taking advantage of its light-emitting diode technology, and also incorporate printer engines into various devices including those in internet of things networks, OKI said.

The Japanese company did not disclose annual production capacity in Thailand or the investment amount involved in the production shift.

In its medium-term business plan for fiscal 2020 through 2022, OKI said, "Overseas operations will be fundamentally reviewed in line with a new sales strategy centered on products that can compete globally."

In December 2020, OKI stopped production and sales of automatic teller machines in China amid growing cashless payments in the country. It moved production of ATMs for the Japanese market to Japan and output of those for global markets to Vietnam.