Your Next Kindle Could be Made in Vietnam

Trump’s trade war isn’t just killing American jobs and costing you more in the pocketbook; it’s also killing jobs in other countries as well.

The Nikkei reports that Amazon and many other tech companies are looking at shifting their manufacturing from mainland China to other countries in response to the tariffs imposed by Trump.

Dell and HP, two of the 3 largest PC makers, are planning to relocate up to 30% of their laptop production out of the country. Amazon, MS, Google, and Nintendo are also evaluating the benefits of moving some of their manufacturing out of China.

The tech companies’ plans have not changed despite the truce that was struck last weekend between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka. Multiple sources told the Nikkei that the situation was still too unstable, while rising costs in China were also prompting manufacturers to examine alternatives.

There’s no word yet on where Amazon’s consumer electronics will end up, but Amazon’s manufacturing partner Foxconn has already moved some of its servers production out of China to avoid tariffs. It’s now making US-bound servers in Mexico, Taiwan and the Czech Republic. Other servers makers have followed suit. “After the tariffs on Chinese goods … took effect on Sept. 24, we started to manufacture and ship servers outside of China from October,” said an executive of a Taiwanese server manufacturer.

The latest rumors suggest Amazon is considering shifting production of the Echo smart speakers, Kindle ereader, and Kindle Fire tablet to Vietnam.

While we don’t know how this will impact Amazon’s release schedule or quality of its electronics, several of Amazon’s smaller competitors will be severely impacted. China-based Boyue is going to see the price of its hardware increase due to tariffs, while Taiwan-based Netronix is going to have to shift more of its production back to its home island.

image by jurvetson via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Enough5 July, 2019

    Too much TDS from this blog. Unsubscribing.

    1. Nate Hoffelder5 July, 2019

      Is this how you usually react to facts you don’t want to hear?

      1. Earle6 July, 2019

        More like rants we don’t care to hear. The facts don’t back you up. The BLS reports a 16th consecutive month of unemployment no higher than 4%.The last time employment was that full in this country for that long ended with January 1970. Maybe you don’t remember that. I do. I was a senior in high school then; I’m retired now. So things job-wise are better now than they were at any time during my working life.

        You link to a post that tells us a motorcycle manufacturer will start supplying European customers from a foreign facility. You’re aware that’s an existing facility, right? They’re not building a new one but merely using the excess capacity they have there. The article doesn’t tell you why they have excess capacity at that foreign plant so I will. They are no longer importing motorcycles into to the US from that plant because of Trump’s tariffs. This is a net gain for American workers.

        1. Nate Hoffelder6 July, 2019

          Wait, so Trump threatened HD for a net positive job creation move? Really?

          And for the record, HD says it’s not a net positive:

          1. Earle6 July, 2019

            Uh, Nate, “Is this how you usually react to facts you don’t want to hear?”

            I pointed you towards government data that shows we’re at the longest sustained period of full employment in 49 and a half years and what’s your response?

            1. Nate Hoffelder7 July, 2019

              That detail has as little relevance to the fact that HD eliminated 300 jobs in the US as the price of tea in China.

              Comments closed again (why didn’t it work the first time?)

  2. Disgusting Dude6 July, 2019

    MS and Nintendo don’t produce smart speakers in China or anywhere else. Editing needed.

    Also, posturing aside, a lot of companies started leaving China for purely economic and IP reasons well before 2016.

    1. Nate Hoffelder6 July, 2019

      I will fix it, thank you.

  3. Reader6 July, 2019

    Isn’t China’s reluctance for fair business and economic practice also killing jobs? When you position your message only calling out one side of the war you sound like cable news!

    1. Nate Hoffelder6 July, 2019

      “Fair” is a matter of opinion, and in fact China does negotiate fairly. They know that the best deal is the one where everybody wins. Trump, on the other hand, unilaterally declared the current agreements unfair and imposed tariffs. This is a situation where there is no other cause, and thus no other side.

  4. Kamen6 July, 2019

    Oooh, well, this is, no doubt, great news for Vietnamese companies – and also Taiwan, although I suspect it might aggravate the current tension with China.

    I’m worried about Kobo. I realise that they have a negligible presence in the US market, but this won’t make things any easier for them. The “interwebs” say that Kobos are produced in “China and Taiwan”. I hope this doesn’t affect them too much. Competition is healthy, etc.

    1. Disgusting Dude6 July, 2019

      The trade war is one of the few remaining bipartisan sectors in US politics and it has less to do with Chinese business practices, hacking, and IP theft than their hoard of thousands of ship-killer missiles, hundreds of warships, and south china sea colonization. Or their public-stated plans to take over Taiwan, much as Russia took Crimea. (Kobo won’t enjoy that either.)

      Focusing on economic issues misses the point, which is to hamper Chinese expansion until the US rearms to 80’s levels. Any economic victims are simply collaterals in the attempt to avoid/delay a shooting war over Taiwan.

      The stakes are far bigger than Kobo regardless of how it plays out.
      It’s really a whole different discussion you might want to research elsewhere.

  5. Nate Hoffelder6 July, 2019

    My apologies to everyone else, but I am shutting down the comment section.

    I did not write this post to pick a fight. I thought this was an interesting story about ereader production and I don’t think that’s going to happen.

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