A minor fire that broke out at a Samsung SDI Co Ltd factory in China on Wednesday was caused by waste products including faulty batteries, the Korean company and local emergency services said.
The fire broke out at the Samsung Electronics Co Ltd affiliate’s factory in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin earlier on Wednesday and has been extinguished, a Samsung spokesman said, adding that there were no casualties or significant impact to the plant’s operations. The fire broke out not on the production line itself but in a part of the facility used for waste, including faulty batteries, said Samsung SDI spokesman Shin Yong-doo. He added that most of the factory was running as normal.The local fire department, however, said on its microblog that the fire was caused by batteries inside the facility.
The “material that caught fire was lithium batteries inside the production workshops and some half-finished products”, the Wuqing branch of the Tianjin Fire Department said in a post on its verified Sina Weibo account. It added it had sent out 110 firefighters and 19 trucks to put out the fire.
SDI is set to start supplying batteries for Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 in the first quarter of this year. The S8 replaces the Galaxy Note 7 mode, which suffered a global recall last year due to battery defects.Samsung said last month that SDI and China’s Amperex Technology Ltd, the two battery suppliers for the Note 7, were to blame for the product failure that cost it $5.3 billion in operating profit. The Tianjin plant is one of five production centers by SDI in China and a major one for small batteries used in phones.
It’s official, Samsung’s latest phablet Galaxy Note 7 has been scrapped for good. The South Korean giant has officially pulled the plug on Galaxy Note 7 on smartphones, permanently ceasing production just weeks after the device went on sale.
The company’s unprecedented decision comes after spate of smartphone battery fires, some reported even in replacement devices. The company had initially got rave reviews for its latest flagship after reports started trickling in about the smartphone getting overheated and exploding. Samsung has been the most popular brand among Android phones for years now. According to analysts estimates, the world’s leading smartphone maker sold over 77 million phones in the second quarter of 2016. Post the battery fiasco, it will be a long road for Samsung to win back customers’ trust by the time it launches its next flagship — Galaxy S8. Analysts believe that the company will have to come up with a set of actions to reassure customers when they buy an S8.