Foxconn founder Terry Gou has said that Apple should move its manufacturing out of China, Bloomberg reports. “I am urging Apple to move to Taiwan,” Gou said. When asked if Apple would shift production away from China, he responded, “I think it is very possible.”
Taiwanese firms are looking to expand or erect new plants in Southeast Asia to avoid punitive tariffs on goods to be exported to the United States, though a majority of their capabilities are still within China. Analysts warn that such a move could take multiple years.
Speculation is mounting that Apple will move some of its manufacturing out of China in the wake of the US-China trade war. At the end of the month, the Trump administration is due to impose a 25 percent tariff on phones, laptops, and tablets manufactured in China, which will cover a huge amount of Apple’s products. Apple has requested that its products be excluded from these tariffs, arguing that it would “result in a reduction of Apple’s US economic contribution” and “weigh on [its] global competitiveness.”
Apple is reportedly already interested in moving some of its production out of China, although not necessarily to Taiwan. Earlier this week, reports emerged that it has asked its suppliers, including Foxconn, to investigate the feasibility of moving between 15 and 30 percent of its production out of the country. However, at the time, it was reported that India and Vietnam were the most likely choices, followed by Mexico, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Apple had asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to reconsider imposing tariffs on products from China in a recent letter.