Nintendo to move some Switch console production out of China to Vietnam

Nintendo is moving some production of its Switch video game console out of China.

The Kyoto, Japan-headquartered game company, which until now has produced all Nintendo Switch consoles in China, said the move was not because of concern for potential U.S. tariffs on products made in China.

“For the past several years, we have been exploring options for assembling product in Vietnam to diversify our manufacturing options,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “While we will continue to manufacture Nintendo Switch consoles in China, we will also gradually begin to manufacture a portion of our consoles in Vietnam, starting this summer.”

The change has been in the works to reduce risks that come from having production in one nation, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed company official who was not free to speak publicly on the issue. He denied it was a direct response to the growing trade friction between the U.S. and China.

Still, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review reported Tuesday Nintendo’s action was driven by worries that U.S. tariffs on goods made in China may increase the price of game consoles, and subsequently, affect sales.

Two weeks ago, Nintendo, along with Microsoft and Sony, wrote a letter to the Trump administration asking that video game consoles be removed from the final list of products to be hit with tariffs. Nearly all consoles imported (96%) were manufactured in China. Since then, President Trump has said he would hold off on additional tariffs while talks with Chinese officials continue.

Nintendo sold about 17 million Nintendo Switch consoles in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. That increased total sales of the system, which launched in March 2017, to 34.75 million.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nintendo to move some Switch console production out of China to Vietnam

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