HTC closes South Korea business

30 Jul 2012

Smartphone maker HTC has closed up shop in South Korea to streamline operations and improve efficiency after having struggled with low mobile phone sales worldwide and competition that includes handset giant Samsung.

“This is a hard decision that has direct impact on people who have contributed to the growth HTC has experienced the past several years,” the Taiwan-based company said in a statement.

HTC also said the closure is necessary to drive innovation, and ensure its ability to create strong products and solid consumer relationships.

The company’s withdrawal from the South Korean market will be gradual, ZDNet reported a local HTC representative as having said.

“We want to cause the least disturbance for our customers here and continue after-sales services,” the representative said, adding that the closure was to “increase efficiency for our business operations in the future.”

HTC did not say how many employees are affected by the shut-down.

The move follows HTC’s announcement last week that its net profits for the second quarter totalled US$246m – which is down 58pc from a year ago – and the closure of its Brazilian business in June.

Samsung largely dominates the South Korean market. In Q2 2012, the company’s smartphone shipments amounted to 50.5m units, making this the most units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter, a recent report from Strategy Analytics said.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic