The latest trade war may have proven more costly for China as tech giant Apple has just requested Foxconn to move some of the assembly of two of its top products, iPad and MacBook, away from China and into Vietnam.
Reuters reported on Friday that Foxconn, one of the manufacturers of Apple, was asked to move part of its production to Vietnam. The development came as the outgoing administration of Pres. Donald Trump encouraged companies to shift production out of China.
Foxconn is already building assembly lines for the MacBook and iPad at its plant in Bac Giang Province in Vietnam and is expected to start operation in the first half of 2021. Reuters reported that their source revealed that the move was requested by Apple since it wants to "diversify production following the trade war."
Apple was requested to comment but did not immediately respond. As for Foxconn, it released a statement saying that as a matter of their company's policy, and also for reasons of commercial sensitivity, they do not comment on any aspect of their work for any customer or their customers' products.
Foxconn has already announced that it will be setting up a subsidiary called FuKang Technology Co Ltd, which was said to have been meant for the expansion of the Vietnam production. It is also planning to make other products for its clients, which would include television sets for Japan's Sony Corp., although Sony declined to comment. Other electronic products said to be produced at the factory include computer keyboards.
TrendForce, a Taipei-based research group, stated that the move of Foxconn to Vietnam will make history since it would mark the first production of an iPad outside China. The popular tablet has been exclusively produced in China. It is not yet known how much of the production of the iPad will be moved, except that diversification of production is the goal of Apple.
Aside from China, Foxconn will also be moving some of its iPhone production to India. The slated amount set to be invested in India is reportedly $1 billion. The planned expansion to India was also made upon the request of Apple in order to diversify production.