Apple vendor mulls shifting six lines from China to India

Business | Agencies and Eurus Yiu 3 Aug 2020

An Apple vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China which may result in US$5 billion (HK$39 billion) of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, The Times of India reported, citing people familiar it didn't identify.

The establishment of the facility will create about 55,000 jobs over a year or so, according to the newspaper, which did not name the Apple vendor. It will also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported.

Apple's Taiwan contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron Corp and Pegatron Corp have applied for funds from India's US$6.65 billion (HK$51.87 billion) scheme to boost smartphone manufacturing, Indian technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday.

Prasad said the production-linked incentive plan offers companies cash incentives on additional sales of devices made locally over five years, with 2019 to 2020 as the base year.

Samsung Electronics has also applied for incentives under the plan.

The South Korean tech giant earlier said on Saturday that it will halt operations of its last computer factory in China, the latest manufacturer to shift production from the world's second-biggest economy.

Samsung has a plant on the outskirts of New Delhi that it describes as the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturing plant. It also exports devices from the factory.

A total of 22 firms have applied to the scheme, which the Indian government expects will generate smartphone production worth US$154 billion and create 300,000 direct jobs over five years.

Apple assembles some smartphones, including the iPhone 11, at Foxconn and Wistron's plants in two southern Indian states.

Foxconn plans to invest up to US$1 billion to expand the factory in Tamil Nadu state where it assembles iPhones, sources told Reuters last month.

Meanwhile, Apple removed 29,800 apps from its Chinese app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to data from research firm Qimai.

The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities but Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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