Intel is about to lay off 200 employees in Costa Rica as the tech giant has reportedly begun the process of shutting down some of its business units in the Central American country.
It is not yet clear which unit will be closed down, with an Intel official saying that the job cuts were part of a global strategy to streamline operations.
Intel had 2,200 employees in its facilities in Costa Rica as of December 2017, about 900 of them working for an R&D center, according to Spanish paper El Financiero.
In Costa Rica, Intel runs an R&D center and two information technology offices, both of which provide a variety of IT support services to the company’s own operations elsewhere in the world, as well as for clients.
The news comes almost four years after the chip-maker shifted its Costa Rica-based microprocessor plant to Malaysia, laying off as many as 1,500 employees.
Intel began operations in Costa Rica in 1997, quickly becoming one of the biggest private sector employers in the country.
With its chip business accounting for nearly 6% of the country’s GDP, Intel held a huge influence on the Costa Rican economy. At one point, Intel’s microprocessors made up about 20% of Costa Rican exports.
Intel has also donated computers and other digital equipment to over 20 schools, establishing model classrooms where teachers can use technology resources to improve the teaching of math, science, social sciences, and language.
Globally, Intel is struggling to re-balance its microprocessor business. It reported US$69 billion in chip sales for 2017, ceding the number-one position in the global chip market to South Korea’s Samsung, which posted US$69 billion in revenue.