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Sharp seeks exit from Foxconn cellphone venture

Bloomberg

Sharp Corp. is considering ending a contract with Foxconn Technology Group under which the Taiwanese manufacturer makes Sharp-branded phones for sale in China, according to a source.

Sharp has logged disappointing sales since the contract started last year and is focusing on the domestic market, said the source, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company is also considering reducing its solar business in the U.K., the source said.

“It is not announced by the company,” said Miyuki Nakayama, a spokeswoman for Osaka-based Sharp. “I cannot comment on business with specific companies.”

Laura Liu, spokeswoman for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Foxconn’s Taipei-based flagship, declined comment on the company’s relationship with its contract-manufacturing customers.

Kyodo News earlier reported that Sharp has suspended collaboration with Foxconn on mobile phones and is considering halting its solar battery manufacturing operation in the U.K.

“Foxconn has never had a mobile-phone partnership with Sharp. We had discussions a long time ago and there was no follow-up,” Liu said in response to reports that Foxconn ended a mobile-phone cooperation pact with the Japanese company.

Sharp shares have declined 2 percent this year. The company isn’t among the top five mobile vendors in China, according to researcher Canalys.

Sharp is considering a photocopier-business partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co., another source said Thursday. The companies are still discussing the terms, said the source, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.