In late November, protests erupted at the world’s largest iPhone factory in central China as authorities at the Foxconn plant struggled to contain a COVID-19 outbreak while maintaining production ahead of the peak holiday season.
In videos protested online, the protesters were shouting “Stand up for your rights!” Riot police were present, the videos show. The location of one of the videos was verified by the news agency and video verification service Storyful, The Wall Street Journal reported.
After a year of events that weakened China’s status as a stable manufacturing centre, the upheaval means Apple no longer feels comfortable having so much of its business tied up in one place, according to analysts and people in the Apple supply chain.
In recent weeks, Apple has stepped up its efforts to move some of its production outside of China and has instructed suppliers to prepare more for the product’s assembly in other parts of Asia, including India and Vietnam.
According to those engaged in the conversations, Apple is also aiming to lessen its reliance on Taiwanese assemblers, particularly those headed by the Foxconn Technology Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Apple has decided to change its manufacturing due to the recent unrest at the “iPhone City” facility in Zhengzhou, China. Up to 300,000 people are employed by Foxconn in Zhengzhou, China, to produce iPhones and other Apple products. According to market research firm Counterpoint-Research, it once represented around 85% of the Pro series of iPhones.
According to those engaged in the conversation, Apple has informed its manufacturing partners that it wants them to start attempting to undertake more of this work outside of China. According to supply-chain experts, nations like Vietnam and India will continue to play second fiddle unless they can implement NPI as well. The Wall Street Journal quoted several of the participants in the conversations as saying that the sluggish global economy and limited hiring at Apple had made it difficult for the tech giant to allocate workers for NPI work with new suppliers and new regions.
Early in November, issues at the Foxconn manufacturing facility forced Apple to lower its projections for high-end iPhone 14 shipments and issue a rare investor alert due to the delays.
China is further constricting Apple’s already constrained supply and demonstrating how the nation’s strict zero-Covid policy is detrimental to international technology companies.