Fitbit to shift production out of China from January

Fitbit Inc will manufacture all its trackers and smartwatches outside China from January, the wearable device maker said on Wednesday, the latest US company looking to insulate itself from tariffs.

The company said it began exploring alternatives to China in 2018 as Washington and Beijing engaged in a tit-for-tat tariff war that has upended global supply lines and roiled financial markets.

Fitbit in June joined a group of US companies in filing letters of opposition to President Donald Trump's plan for more US tariffs on Chinese goods.

The tariffs would result in a competitive advantage for Chinese device makers in the US market, the company had said.

Read Also
China can deliver 'deadly punch' to US in trade war: Ex-official
China can deliver 'deadly punch' to US in trade war: Ex-official

Fitbit's smartwatches, along with Apple Inc's AirPods, Apple Watch and HomePod, smart speakers from Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google, failed to win a reprieve from the 10 per cent US tariff that started from Sept. 1.

Fitbit did not reveal the new manufacturing location, only saying it will provide more details of the impact of the move during its upcoming third-quarter conference call.

Shares of the company were down 1.5 per cent at US$3.63 (S$5) in afternoon trading.

A host of US companies are shifting - or looking to shift- their manufacturing facilities from China.

Action camera maker GoPro Inc is relocating a bulk of its US-bound camera production to Mexico, while Google has moved production of its Nest thermostats and server hardware out of China, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.

Fitbit has been in talks with an investment bank about the possibility of exploring a sale, Reuters reported last month.