New Chinese brands are set to join international electronics companies that recently kickstarted production in Turkey.
TCL is eying May for the start of its production in the country, a report in Turkish daily Milliyet claimed Saturday. Huawei is also reportedly also seeking to launch smartphone production this year.
TCL Mobil Turkey Country Manager Serhan Tunca said the company would be producing products in the smartphone group. Tunca noted that the production would start in cooperation with a “global partner,” without disclosing the name.
The company will be producing around 500,000 units in the first year, he added. “It will be the production of devices that are in the European portfolio and that will be launched in Turkey. Our upper segment devices are also included in this production plan,” he was cited as saying.
Following their launch in Turkey, the “Made in Turkey” phones will be exported to other markets, Tunca noted.
Huawei has been operating in Turkey since 2002 and opened its first office in the capital Ankara, before establishing a center in Istanbul.
It also owns a major research and development (R&D) center, where the production is expected to be made.
Electronics giant Xiaomi last week launched its production facility in Istanbul with supply giant Salcomp.
Established in the Avcılar district on the metropolis’ European side, the factory will have the capacity to produce 5 million smartphones annually.
The tech giant in February announced the plant would be launched with an investment of around $30 million (TL 245 million).
Turkey is a crucial bridge in the region, as it links Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said Cindy Chang, Xiaomi’s marketing manager for the Middle East.
“Turkey is a key country for our global expansion plan. It is always a high-priority market for Xiaomi in the global strategy,” Chang, told Anadolu Agency (AA) Saturday.
Turkey is the fourth country in the world where the brand has production plants. In 2018, it had opened its first store in Turkey at a location in Istanbul.
On the new factory in Istanbul, she said in the first phase it aims to meet domestic demand and later export some of its products.
The 14,000-square-meter (150,700-square-foot) factory boasts 2,000 workers.
Chang said the factory will produce Xiaomi’s Redmi smartphones – its most popular line – and then diversify its product range.
She also said the factory will employ both a blue and white-collar labor force, creating new job opportunities in Turkey.
The first priority is training the workforce on the skills crucial for cellphone technology, she added.
Chang also praised the Turkish workforce, saying they are very open to new technologies and willing to embrace different trends.
“The Turkish people are very energetic and open to trying new things,” she said.
Xiaomi also plans to open more than 100 retail stores in Turkey this year.
Another electronics company Oppo announced back in December 2020 its plans of investing in Turkey and began trial production at a factory in Istanbul’s Tuzla last month. Its first made-in-Turkey smartphone hit the market last month.
Having entered the Turkish market last year, Tecno Mobile in January this year said it would invest over $25 million for smartphone production in the country. Its first phones are set to be released soon.
In addition, other Chinese brands such as Vivo and Honor are also said to be looking to launch productions in Turkey. They will reportedly open their facilities within the second quarter.
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