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GoPro will move some manufacturing out of China because of Trump’s trade war

December 11, 2018

Editor’s note. It is a win if companies move out of China, which uses predatory economic strategies to achieve larger global goals. It is a bigger win if the companies move to the US. 

GoPro announced on Monday that it plans to move “most of its US-bound camera production” out of China by summer 2019 as a result of the ongoing trade war between the two countries. The action camera company didn’t say specifically where it will move that slice of its overall manufacturing efforts.

[Sean O'Kane | December 11, 2018 | The Verge]

“Today’s geopolitical business environment requires agility, and we’re proactively addressing tariff concerns by moving most of our US-bound camera production out of China,” Brian McGee, GoPro’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We believe this diversified approach to production can benefit our business regardless of tariff implications.”

GoPro will continue to make cameras for China in China, as well as ones that are destined for other countries. The company’s overall performance the last few years has been buoyed by expanding sales outside of the US and Europe, as it’s seen increased market share in countries like Japan, South Korea, and others in the Asia Pacific region.

In a September interview with CNN, CEO Nick Woodman said he was “actively looking” to move some manufacturing outside the US, and claimed that dealing with the trade war as “a catalyst to get us thinking about our business in new ways.” He also said that the simplicity of GoPro’s product lineup, which currently consists of just three action cameras and one 360-degree camera for semi-pros, might not be as challenging as it will be for some other companies with more diverse offerings. The company also owns its production equipment, which GoPro says should help keep the cost of such a move low.

GoPro released its Hero 7 lineup of cameras in September, and the most expensive version — the Hero 7 Black — has already become the fastest-selling new GoPro in the company’s history. Woodman has said the coming holiday season will help the company return to profitability. GoPro hasn’t turned a yearly profit since 2015.


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