A fire broke out at Samsung SDI's waste management facility located in Tianjin, China on Wednesday. Local emergency services reportedly have the situation under control as of a few hours ago. Samsung SDI is a battery-making division of Samsung Group but the facility in question wasn't a manufacturing operation, one of the company's representatives told Bloomberg. The authorities have only started investigating the incident earlier today and it's currently unknown how long their probe will take.
Samsung SDI is expected to supply the batteries for the upcoming Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus. In January, the company invested approximately $129 million to implement new safety measures following the ordeal caused by the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung Electronics previously confirmed that both Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology were responsible for the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco as both companies made mistakes while manufacturing batteries for Samsung's discontinued phablet. Due to a number of oversights made by Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology, the Galaxy Note 7 was prone to catching fire, melting, and exploding under certain conditions. While it's frivolous to presume those previous incidents were in any way related to the fire in Tianjin, such events certainly won't help Samsung rebuild its image that was damaged following the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco last fall.
The South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer already implemented numerous expensive additions to its manufacturing and quality assurance processes to ensure that another Galaxy Note 7 never happens again. However, the company is reportedly still in the process of implementing them, which is why recent industry rumors suggested that the Seoul-based tech giants could procure batteries for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus from Murata Manufacturing, a Japanese supplier of electronic components. Regardless, Samsung made no official comments suggesting it might outsource the production of batteries for the Galaxy S8 to other companies, so it remains to be seen how the situation will develop. For the time being, it's reasonable to presume that Samsung SDI will be the company manufacturing the majority of the batteries powering Samsung's upcoming pair of Android flagships. As for the recent fire in the firm's Chinese waste management facility, authorities will likely provide an update on the situation as soon as their investigation into the incident is completed.