Samsung Display wants to expand its production lines in Vietnam, in part to increase its foldable display production capacity, and the company is in the process of sending hundreds of engineers to the country to set up renovation plans. But there is a problem. As reported last week, Vietnam has set a 14-day quarantine for every arrival from South Korea amid the COVID-19 outbreak and has suspended Visa Waivers, making it impossible for a lot of Samsung Display’s engineers to get into the country.
Reports from Yonhap News citing anonymous sources now suggest that Samsung Display has asked the Vietnamese authorities to issue visas for some 700 engineers from Samsung display and its partner companies. More specifically, Samsung Display doesn’ have an issue with the 14-day quarantine and it is willing to comply, but wants Vietnam to consider issuing new visas so that the expansion plans can get underway.
Last Friday, the South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam informed the local media that Samsung Display needs to bring 1,000 experts from South Korea to begin the expansion plans. Another industry insider cited by Yonhap News said that Samsung Display needs a minimum of 700 engineers to begin renovating and upgrading its OLED manufacturing plant in Vietnam.
In light of these events, other reports from the Korean media suggest that Samsung Display could have difficulties in supplying display modules to Samsung Electronics. Specifically, the current production capacity won’t be affected, but that’s exactly it: Samsung Display wants to increase its production capacity in Vietnam, and the quarantine could slow down the ramp-up process. The company also wants to manufacture an increasing number of foldable panels, and these unfortunate events could become another hurdle in the democratization of this technology.