Speculation is mounting that Apple will move some iPad and MacBook manufacturing out of China to Vietnam due to the ongoing US-China trade war.
At the request of Apple Inc, Foxconn, a major Apple contractor that produces many of the company’s iPhones in Zhengzhou China will move, apparently in the first half of 2021, Reuters reported Thursday.
It is unclear which iPad and MacBook models will be made in Vietnam.
Nikkei reported that the Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer is planning to move more than 30% of its production lines outside China and had already invested $270 million in Vietnam.
The move comes after Trump administration reportedly used tariffs and other international trade tools to mount pressure on countries such as China to change agreements with the US. Critics argue that doing so could be counterproductive as it will hurt the U.S economy and result in increased prices on products.
China’s “days as the world’s factory are done”, Foxconn’s chairman, Young Liu told investors back in August.
“No matter if it’s India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each,” Liu told investors on a conference call, adding that while China will still play a key role in Foxconn’s manufacturing empire, the country’s “days as the world’s factory are done.”
According to Reuters, Foxconn is already building assembly lines for Apple’s iPad tablet and MacBook laptop at its plant in Vietnam’s northeastern Bac Giang province, to come online in the first half of 2021.
When contacted, Foxconn said in statement: “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”.