South Korea’s Samsung Display, a supplier for Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc, has requested Vietnam to exempt 700 South Korean engineers from its mandatory quarantine requirement saying they are needed to prepare for the production of screens for new smartphones. South Korea is Vietnam’s biggest foreign investor.
In an effort to contain the outbreak of China’s coronavirus Vietnam has mandated a 14 day quarantine period for people coming from South Korea.
South Korea has one of the highest number of infections outside China.
Samsung Display runs a factory in Vietnam where it assembles OLED displays for Samsung Electronics and Huawei for their smartphones.
“Around this time of the year, Samsung Display sends engineers from Korea to Vietnam to prepare for new products scheduled to be launched in the latter half of the year,” said a source familiar with the matter at hand. “Travel restrictions could deal a setback to such plan.”
According to the source, Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics unit, is holding talks with the Vietnamese government on exempting its engineers from Vietnam’s quarantine program provided they present medical examination reports.
Vietnam is South Korea’s third biggest export market as well as its fifth-biggest source of South Korean imports.
Samsung Electronics alone accounts for a fourth of Vietnam’s exports and makes over half of its global smartphones there.