Common sense would tell you that display technology manufacturing coming out of China will be adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions on travel in that country.
Now, with the Chinese New Year over, factories are trying to resume production, but struggling with high employee absentee rates.
The Taiwan-based tech publication DigiTimes reports that China-based LED makers who went back to work last week have only seen 50% of workers return amid the outbreak. Other companies planning to ramp up production again in late February are also anticipating high absentee rates.
The article goes on to suggest Q1 each year tends to be slow because of the downtimes brought on by the huge New Year shutdown, but that the first half of the year will be weak in terms of sales.
While LED die can come from countries like Japan and Taiwan, and other components and initial manufacturing can happen elsewhere (like LED packaging), even a company that says its LED product is made in the US, Canada or somewhere in Europe will rely on critical components that come out of Chinese factories.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.