Panasonic outlines damage to its China operations from anti-Japan protests

Panasonic outlines damage to its China operations from anti-Japan protests

After anti-Japan demonstrations damaged and disrupted Panasonic’s manufacturing operations in China, the company has released a statement specifically outlining the problems that have arisen.

Though Panasonic noted that none of its personnel were injured, three factories were affected during the protests.

In Qingdao, the building and equipment of a plant producing electronic components was damaged. The company is working to restart operations there, but has yet to set a date. A Suzhou facility for printed-circuit boards sustained minor damage to some of the equipment, but it has already resumed production. Finally, a fixed-line phone factory in Zhuhai put operations on hold after 10 local employees protested. Operations will resume once safety has been ensured.

Panasonic said it remains uncertain of the full extent of any damage to its business performance, but it promised an announcement should it foresee any “significant impact” on its financial outlook.

Escalating tensions between Japan and China as a result of a sovereignty dispute over a set of islands have led to waves of protests throughout China, some of which have resorted to violence. Last week, a Panasonic factory was set on fire, while numerous Japanese-brand cars and stores have been attacked. Camera maker Canon has also been affected by the protests.

The disagreement has also been hashed out online, as numerous Japanese websites have been hacked or defaced by pro-Chinese groups.

Corporations and celebrities have spoken up in the debate. Earlier this week, Chinese search engine Baidu featured a doodle of a Chinese flag planted on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, though the company did take the opportunity to encourage citizens to renounce violence. Meanwhile, former Japanese erotic film star Sora Aoi, who is extremely popular in China, has called for friendship between the two countries.

Image credit: David Becker/Getty Images

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