Nikon shutters China factory


Peek into most restaurants in China and you will see people taking photos of food. In the days before the smartphone, the habit was restricted to food critics. But with the high-quality cameras installed in today’s handsets it is easy to snap show-off photos of food and post them online to be ogled at by absent friends and relatives.

The method of taking the photos speaks volumes too about the pending extinction of the standalone digital camera. And another milestone in this decline was reached last week when Nikon announced that it will close its digital camera factory in China.

The company blamed the rise of smartphones and the resulting shrinkage in camera sales. The factory – which has been operating in China for 15 years – made 1.75 million cameras in 2016 but sales numbers have dropped 68% since 2012.

More than 2,000 Chinese employees will now be laid off and the factory and its land will be sold, reports China Business.

With its core camera business being ravaged by the likes of iPhones, Samsung Galaxies and Huawei smartphones (which even use Leica lenses), Nikon is now looking to grow in areas such as virtual reality cameras and healthcare technology. The closure of its longstanding China facility shows the Japanese firm is making some hard choices as it tries to reinvent itself.

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