Global footwear group’s Vietnam operations suspended for two days

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FILE PHOTO: Nike shoes are seen on display at the Nordstrom flagship store during a media preview in New York, U.S., October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

HANOI (Reuters) – Pou Chen Corp (9904.TW), the world’s largest manufacturer of branded athletic and casual footwear for the likes of Nike (NKE.N) and Adidas (ADSGn.DE), has been ordered to suspend production at its Pouyuen Vietnam business over COVID-19 concerns, Vietnamese state media reported on Monday.

Pouyuen Vietnam must suspend production for two days from Tuesday after failing to meet local rules on social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has infected more than 260 people in the country, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

“The suspension of Pouyuen Vietnam is necessary to ensure public health as well as the operations of the company,” Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, was quoted as saying.

The report said the company, which has about 70,000 employees, has failed to keep its workers from gathering and keeping a safe distance from one another.

Vietnam began 15 days of social distancing from April to curb community transmission of the coronavirus but is considering extending the measures.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Additional reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by David Goodman

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