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Intel to Close Shanghai Plant

Moving plant to Sichuan to save money

The world's largest chip maker Intel Corp said on Feb. 5 it would shut down an assembly and test factory in Shanghai and move it to a city in China's far west due to the global economic crisis.

The move will affect about 2,000 employees, who will be offered jobs in the western city of Chengdu or other Chinese locations where Intel operates, the company said.

The consolidation, which will take place over the next 12 months, came "as a result of current economic conditions," the statement said. "The economic downturn has had an enormous impact on the semiconductor sector, forcing companies to take measures to cut costs," said Liu Liang, an analyst with Industrial Securities, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

"Moving operations from Shanghai, a high-cost city, to a cheaper place like Sichuan might be an effective way to cope with the financial crisis," Liu said.

Intel plans to keep a research and development center in Shanghai, which will also remain the China headquarters for the company.

It said it was still going ahead with the construction of a plant in the northeast Chinese city of Dalian. The cost of this plant was previously given as $2.5 billion.

Intel last month announced plans to close facilities in Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States. Those moves were expected to affect between 5,000 and 6,000 employees worldwide, the company said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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