Foxconn is reportedly in the process of move some iPad and MacBook assembly to Vietnam from China at the request of Apple.
In June 2019 Apple explored its options to move between 15 to 30 percent of manufacturing out of China, as the trade war between Beijing and the United States deepened.
Now a person with knowledge of the plan has told Reuters that this plan is being put into action, as Apple seeks to minimise the impact of a China-US trade war.
The Trump administration has for years been encouraging US companies to move production and manufacturing out of China.
Indeed, during the past four years, the US has targeted made-in-China electronics for higher import tariffs, and restricted supplies of components produced using US technology to Chinese firms it deems a national security risk.
Taiwanese manufacturers have moved, or are considering moving production to other markets including India, Mexico and Vietnam to avoid being caught up in the trade war.
According to Reuters, Foxconn is building assembly lines for Apple’s iPad tablet and MacBook laptop at its plant in Vietnam’s northeastern Bac Giang province.
The plant is expected to come online in the first half of 2021, the person told Reuters, declining to be identified as the plan was private.
The lines will also take some production from China, the person said, without elaborating how much production would shift.
“The move was requested by Apple,” the person said. “It wants to diversify production following the trade war.”
But Foxconn remains tight lipped over the matter.
“As a matter of company policy, and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on any aspect of our work for any customer or their products”.
Apple did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
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