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16 Feb, 2023 12:00

Apple shifting away from China

The tech giant is expanding manufacturing in the emerging markets of Vietnam and India
Apple shifting away from China

Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, announced on Tuesday that it will establish a major new factory in Vietnam, in a sign that the iPhone maker is moving production away from China.

Foxconn has signed a $62.5 million lease on 45 hectares of land in an industrial park in Vietnam’s Bac Giang province. The factory should meet “operational needs and expand production capacity” and is expected to bring in 30,000 workers, representing $300 million in investment.

The tech giant will reportedly assemble MacBooks at the new plant in Vietnam. The country’s Bac Giang industrial park is a hub for big tech factories and Foxconn is already producing AirPods, Apple Watches, and iPads at the location, which is also home to Apple and Samsung component suppliers and assemblers.

Apple announced plans to shift away from China towards emerging markets such as Vietnam and India last year following major disruptions at the iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, where hundreds of workers took part in protests related to China’s stringent Covid-19 regulations.

Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the challenges “significantly impacted” iPhone supplies, affecting the crucial Christmas sales period. The tech giant posted the largest quarterly revenue decline in over five years and the first year-over-year sales decline since 2019; iPhone revenues were reported down from $71.6 billion to $65.8 billion on an annual basis.

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