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After Floods, Businesses Still Wary of Thailand

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By Kathy Chu

BANGKOK—Some of the bustle isn't coming back to Thailand.

A year after massive floods in the country disrupted the global supply chain for cars and electronics, most factories are at work again, but not always like before. Some foreign companies—having learned hard lessons about concentrating too much of their production in one country—are shifting to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Western Digital Corp., WDC -0.01% one of Thailand's largest foreign employers, moved some manufacturing of hard-disk drive components from Thailand to Malaysia. The company, based in Irvine, Calif., also asked some suppliers to take similar steps, hoping to avoid a components shortage like last year.

Excluding its Hitachi Global Storage Technologies unit, acquired in March, Western Digital now employs 25,000 people in Thailand, compared with 37,000 before the floods.

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