Some production of the Pixel smartphone could be moved to India, as Google begins talks with local suppliers and manufacturers
Alphabet’s Google division could be starting a similar process already underway with Apple, by moving some smartphone production out of China.
Bloomberg reported that Google is scouting for local suppliers to move some Pixel production and assembly to India.
India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is offering a number of financial incentives to bolster domestic production, as the country looks to establish itself as an alternative technology manufacturing hub.
It comes as big name tech firms look to diversify beyond China, amid worries and concerns about manufacturing dependence on China after its strict Covid lockdowns and an ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.
According to the Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter, Google has initiated early conversations with a number of companies including homegrown Lava International Ltd. and Dixon Technologies India Ltd. as well as Foxconn Technology Group’s Indian unit Bharat FIH.
Bloomberg also reported that last month, India’s Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw met with Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, for a conversation that revolved around Modi’s local manufacturing drive and India’s state-backed technology push.
“Met @sundarpichai at the @Google HQ. Good discussion on India Stack and Make in India program,” Vaishnaw tweeted in early May.
— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) May 9, 2023
And key Google executives who visited India this month for the partnership talks included Ana Corrales, operating chief of its consumer hardware arm, and Maggie Wei, a senior director of global sustaining product operations, the people said.
Representatives for Lava, Dixon, Google and Foxconn didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Google could be the latest global technology player to move production to India.
Apple is also expanding its manufacturing in the country as it seeks to diversify away from China amidst increasing political tensions.
The company tripled its production to more than $7bn of iPhones in India last fiscal year, or 5 percent of worldwide iPhone production.
Google is much smaller player in the smartphone market however, and it built about 9 million Pixel smartphones last year, Bloomberg reported, citing data from Counterpoint Research.