HP moves laptop manufacturing to Japan

Hewlett Packard has announced a move that may come as a surprise to many: a shift from China to Japan for some of its laptop production.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the company is retooling a desktop PC factory in Tokyo to produce larger quantities of portables. The overall aim, a spokesman claimed, is to produce 1.4 million desktop and laptop units at the plant each year.

The move comes as rising living expenses force Chinese manufacturers to bump up their wages, with the result that increasing numbers of companies are looking elsewhere for their manufacturing requirements.

Japan - being both close by and having a reputation as a leader in the high-tech manufacturing industry - is a logical choice for many, despite the recent earthquake and tsunami that saw many factories forced to shut down while damage was repaired.

It is believed that the move will shorten delivery times to Japanese clients - which represent 2.5 per cent of the company's global PC sales - by half, although the company has not indicated whether a move from increasingly expensive China will bring with it any cost reductions for consumers.