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LG halts phone manufacturing in South Korea for 2019, relocating to Vietnam

LG is reportedly moving production to one of its existing factories in Haiphong, Vietnam.

LG's latest premium phone, the G8 ThinQ.
Angela Lang/CNET

LG is making some literal moves. The South Korean electronics and phone company is relocating their mobile production facility in South Korea for the year, and focusing instead on one of its plants in Haiphong, Vietnam, according to Reuters and first reported by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency.

Though LG overall is profiting, its mobile division posted a $172 million loss in the second quarter of 2018. And while smartphone sales are down globally, things are especially difficult for LG. Its last couple of flagship phones didn't take off, and it still must compete against bigger companies like SamsungHuawei and Apple, too.  

With the relocation, the company does not plan to downsize its phone business, however. The move is to make LG "much more competitive for the global market," said LG senior director of global corporate communications Ken Hong. "Korea will continue to be the hub for smartphone R&D, design, quality assurance, etc."  

As reported by Reuters, the factory in South Korea mostly makes premium phone models, which would include devices like the LG G8 ThinQ or the upcoming V50 ThinQ, and manufactures about 10% to 20% of LG's total smartphones. In addition to South Korea and Vietnam, the company also has factories in China, Brazil and India.

Originally published April 24, 2:35 p.m. PT. 
Update, April 25: Adds comment from LG.