While we don’t necessarily see too many Sony smartphones hitting the market as of late, it’s still worrying for the industry to see the brand closing a smartphone factory in China.

We’ve known that Sony Mobile hasn’t been doing too well in recent years. The company almost completely pulled out of the budget smartphone market, instead deciding to focus on the more premium end.

Reports from Reuters suggest that the Sony Mobile division recorded a staggering $863 million loss in 2018 and only managed to sell 6.5 million devices over the 12 month period. While that is shocking, the closure of a Sony smartphone factory in China, therefore, comes as no great surprise.

Instead of ceasing production altogether, manufacturing will instead be reliant on Sony Mobile factories in Thailand rather than China. Sony staunchly refutes any claims that the mobile division will be sold, but is choosing to cut the workforce by an estimated 50% or by 2,000.

Sony still believes in the mobile space and aims to be profitable in the financial year beginning in April 2020. Whether they are able to strong-arm the interest of the buying public remains to be seen though.

A spokesperson for Sony has also stated the decision to close the plant was not related to U.S.-Chinese trade tensions. Production is set to stop by the end of the month, he added, but when pressed, declined to say how many jobs would be affected by the Chinese plant closure.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com