Hitachi Plans To Downsize China Workforce

Japanese television maker Hitachi may reduce its TV business on the Chinese mainland and cut up to 2,000 employees.

Reports in Hong Kong media state the restructuring plan has been handed in to Hitachi's Japanese headquarters for approval, but a spokesperson from Hitachi China refused to comment on this issue.

Hitachi China is managing more than 100 wholly-owned or partly-owned projects on the Chinese mainland, including its TV department Hitachi (China) Digital Image Group, which has over 60,000 Chinese employees. The Digital Image Group is reportedly in the center of this restructuring plan and all of its provincial branches and sales teams will cut staff. In addition, the scale of Hitachi's production base in Fujian will be reduced and about 2,000 people will lose their jobs, including contract workers and dispatched workers.

Established in 1981, Hitachi's Fujian TV plant is one of the earliest TV plants opened by foreign manufacturers. However, because of the increase of costs and competition, the performance of this plant has not been satisfactory over recent years.

Prior to this announcement, Hitachi predicted that it might make USD7.8 billion loss in this fiscal year as of March 2009. The company said it will cut JPY200 billion fixed costs before March 2010 by withdrawing unprofitable departments and closing plants.

In February 2009, Hitachi appointed Nobuyuki Ohno as new CEO for Hitachi China, effective from April 1, 2009.

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