Apple Inc. partner Foxconn Technology Group plans to invest about $700 million on a new plant in India to ramp up local production, according to people familiar with the matter, highlighting a growing shift away from Chinese manufacturing as tensions rise between Washington and Beijing.
A 300-acre site near the airport in Bengaluru, the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, is planned for the company, also known for its flagship unit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. The people, who asked not to be named because the information is confidential, said the company, also known for its flagship unit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Some of the people said the factory could also produce parts for Foxconn’s nascent electric vehicle business, in addition to assembling Apple’s handsets.
A significant development by Foxconn Technology group
China’s status as the world’s largest producer of consumer electronics may be threatened by the investment, which is Foxconn’s largest single outlay in India to date. As a result of their Chinese-based suppliers exploring alternative locations such as India and Vietnam, Apple and other US brands have leaned on them to do so. Global electronics could undergo a rethink due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which has accelerated its rethink.
The number of jobs is 100,000
Currently, Apple employs about 200,000 people at its sprawling iPhone assembly complex in Zhengzhou, China, although that number surges during peak production seasons.
Apple reevaluated its China-reliant supply chain after Zhengzhou’s output plunged ahead of the holiday season due to disruptions caused by Covid. As suppliers move capacity out of China far faster than expected, Foxconn’s decision is the latest sign.
The deputy technology minister of India tweeted details about the upcoming plant on Friday, including that it will be built soon and create 100,000 jobs.
Several people said Foxconn is still finalizing investment and project details. The plant may represent new capacity, or Foxconn could be shifting production from other sites such as China.
I emailed Hon Hai, whose Chairman Young Liu met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week, but they did not respond immediately to my email request for comment. The Karnataka state government did not respond either. While Liu is in India, he has committed to another manufacturing project in the neighboring Telangana region.
Government coup for Modi
As Western investors and corporations sour on Beijing’s crackdowns on private companies, Foxconn’s decision would be a coup for Modi’s government.
Foxconn, which began making the latest iPhones last year at a site in Tamil Nadu, has been offered financial incentives by India. In addition to Wistron Corp. and Pegatron Corp., smaller rivals such as Jabil Inc. have begun manufacturing components for AirPods in India.
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