Motorola to close Hong Kong plant, cut up to 800 jobs

Motorola will close its assembly and test facility in Hong Kong and move its manufacturing operations to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Tianjin, China, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

According to Gloria Shiu, senior communications manager of Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector in the Asia-Pacific region, up to 800 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the relocation exercise. The retrenchments will take place across the board, she said.

The Hong Kong manufacturing plant move to Malaysia and China will take place in three phases, with the first phase expected to kick in by the end of the first quarter. "Moving production lines has to be done systematically, so it will take some time to gradually move over," said Shiu, adding that the entire relocation will be completed by the end of the year.

Currently, Motorola's Kuala Lumpur facility has 3,500 employees, and its Tianjin integrated semiconductor manufacturing complex in China's northeast has 1,500 employees, Shiu said. While there will be a few Hong Kong employees relocated to the receiving plants, the company did not disclose how many.

Motorola has not made any plans to hire additional employees in Malaysia and China, although it will make necessary adjustments to support demand in those facilities when the need arises, said Shiu. Hong Kong will remain the region's headquarters and will be the place where R&D will take place and new products are introduced, she said.

A variety of product lines will be transferred with the Hong Kong plant shutdown, including Motorola's networking and computing, transportation, and wireless communications products, Shiu said.

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