Seagate Technology, one of the world’s leading data storage companies, has announced plans to close its manufacturing base in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, while increasing investment in neighbouring city Wuxi.
The restructuring will see Wuxi become one of the NASDAQ-listed company’s two remaining manufacturing bases worldwide, with the other located in Thailand.
Seagate will also pump further investment into its Wuxi base to upgrade facilities and help it capture further market opportunities, according to the company’s statement.
“Seagate’s Wuxi plant remains of strategic importance as part of our global supply chain,” said Mike Small, vice president of tax and international trade at Seagate Technology.
Macro changes in the global economy have lowered demand for hard drives globally, he added, forcing a large-scale layoff last year during which 14 per cent of the company’s staff lost their jobs.
According to Zhang Guichen, director of Seagate’s information department, the company’s board of directors made the decision in order to optimize the firm’s operational efficiency.
Seagate will continue to value the Chinese market and consider Wuxi to be one of the most important centres in its global business.
Seagate’s Wuxi plant was established in 1995 to manufacture hard drives for personal computers and other devices such as servers, external hard drives, media players and flash drives.
Located in the Wuxi-Singapore Industrial Park, the 87,000-square-meter facility employs more than 6,000 people and houses a number of automated printed circuit board assembly lines, hard drive production lines and testing operations.
As Seagate’s largest hard drive manufacturing facility, the Wuxi plant played a key role in establishing the company’s leading position in the world’s fastest growing technology market, and has been honoured with various titles and accolades including “Wuxi Top 100 Outstanding Foreign-Funded Enterprise” and the “Foreign-Funded Enterprise with the Largest Export Volume”.