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Hitachi shifts media making to China

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies plans to shift most of its manufacturing of media for hard drives from San Jose, Calif., and Odawara, Japan, to its facility in Shenzhen, China, over the next three years. The hard-drive maker announced the move Tuesday.

Lower costs, as well as proximity to suppliers and hard-drive manufacturing operations in Asia, spurred the decision, according to Hitachi spokesman Kevin Kimball. He said the company isn't sure whether there will be layoffs at the San Jose and Odawara facilities. But those sites will continue to be the primary facilities for manufacturing media--the hard-drive component on which data is stored--through the end of 2005, the company said. In addition, the San Jose and Odawara locations will continue to be used to develop media and to run pilot manufacturing efforts. Hitachi's media operations employ about 800 people worldwide.