Democratic candidate Joe Biden was elected, but Donald Trump’s economic and trade war with China will last at least a few months. Meanwhile, Apple is trying to limit its manufacturing risks, so it has asked its subcontractor Foxconn to move some of the iPad and MacBook production to its Vietnamese assembly sites. A measure taken by the Trump administration has strongly encouraged American companies to move their manufacturing out of China.
As Reuters reminds us, an important part of Donald Trump’s mandate will be marked by relatively hostile policies towards China. In order to fight against electronic products “Made in China”, the American president introduced substantial export taxes on devices made in China and restricted access to components made in China. Help from American technologies. A firm policy that Huawei in particular has suffered from over the past three years.
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Taiwanese companies are caught in the crossfire
According to Reuters sources, Foxconn therefore respected the instructions of its customer Apple by relocating part of its production to its factories in the Vietnamese province of Bac Giang (northeast of the country). The latter should be able to assemble some Apple tablets and laptops on site from the first quarter of 2021. This move will have an impact on Foxconn’s production in China, as we read, by the way, without exactly knowing the extent of this move.
“As part of company policy and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on any aspect of our work for any customer or its products,” Foxconn said respectfully, asking Reuters to comment on these changes. For its part, Apple did not respond to requests from the British media.
Foxconn, in particular with TSMC, is one of the Taiwanese companies that has been caught in the crossfire in trade between the USA and China. Some of them have therefore taken measures that allow them to relocate part of their production outside of China in favor of countries like Vietnam, but also India and Mexico. In the case of Foxconn, Apple is obviously not the only one requesting production in Vietnam. For example, the company would have outsourced part of the production of television sets on behalf of Sony. A rumor the Japanese giant didn’t want to comment on either.
According to TrendForce, all iPads have so far been made in China. Their at least partial meeting in Vietnam is therefore a first. At the same time, Foxconn has already started developing its assembly lines in India to accommodate a larger part of iPhone production. The deal this summer had represented a nearly $ 1 billion investment for Foxconn, which nonetheless agreed to efforts to respond to a change “strongly encouraged” by Apple.