Apple moving iPad production from China to Vietnam for the first time ever, reports say

James Crump
·2 min read
The Apple logo is seen at an Apple Store in Brooklyn, New York, on 23 October 2020 ((Reuters))
The Apple logo is seen at an Apple Store in Brooklyn, New York, on 23 October 2020 ((Reuters))

Apple supplier Foxconn is moving some of its iPad and MacBook assembly to Vietnam from China at the request of the technology company.

A person with knowledge of the plan told Reuters that Apple is diversifying its production to minimise the damage of a trade war between the US and China.

The news comes as the outgoing Trump administration is encouraging US companies to move their production out of China and considering banning firms from selling products to organisations in the country that it deems a national security risk.

In reaction to the tensions between the US and China, several Taiwanese manufacturers have moved or are considering switching production to Vietnam, India or Mexico.

Reuters reported on Thursday that the Tawianese company Foxconn is currently building assembly lines to produce Apple’s iPad tablet and MacBook laptop at a plant in Vietnam’s Bac Giang province.

Foxconn will not move all of the production over to Vietnam, but will start assembling Apple products in the country in early 2021.

The source told Reuters: “The move was requested by Apple,” and added: “It wants to diversify production following the trade war.”

In a statement to Reuters, Foxconn said: “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”.

However, Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way told investors in August that the company planned to create “two sets of supply chains” in order to cater to both Chinese and US markets.

The Independent has contacted Apple for comment.

When the production of Apple items begins in Vietnam, it will be the first time that Foxconn has assembled the technology company’s products outside of China.

On Tuesday, Foxconn, which is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, announced a $270m (£202m) investment to create a new subsidiary called FuKang Technology Co Ltd, to help its expansion into Vietnam.

Foxconn will manufacture other computer parts in Vietnam, as well as television sets for the Japanese firm Sony.

Reuters reported on Monday that the US is close to identifying 89 Chinese firms as having military ties, in the latest anti-Beijing measure from the outgoing Trump administration.

If published, companies included in the list would be identified by the US as “military end users,” which would force American firms to seek licenses to sell items to them.

The applications for the licenses are reportedly more likely to be denied than approved by the US government.

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