Amid protests, Apple plans to move production out of China

In a move that has sparked public outcry, Apple Inc. announced plans to move production out of China.

The recent protests in China, particularly at the Zhengzhou ‘iPhone City’ plant, led Apple to expedite its plans to move production out of China. As a result, the company is now looking into shifting its production to other Asian countries like India and Vietnam.

Apple is looking to reduce its reliance on Taiwanese mobile phone assemblers such as the Foxconn Technology Group, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The iPhone maker has been diversifying its suppliers to mitigate risks and dependency.

According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, at one point Zhengzhou alone made up about 85 percent of the Pro lineup of iPhones. This is due to the fact that around 300,000 workers are employed at a factory run by Foxconn to make iPhones and other Apple products in China’s Zhengzhou, ANI reported.

Late November saw an outbreak of violence as workers at Foxconn’s largest iPhone plant in Zhengzhou city protested against their pay and living conditions. Social media platforms were soon flooded with posts showing the array of picketers on the streets.

Hundreds of workers at the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China staged a demonstration over reports of unpaid wages and harsh COVID-19 guidelines. Some videos that circulated online showed workers breaking surveillance cameras with sticks.

Foxconn issued an official statement and apologized for the situation after it worsened. The Apple supplier blamed a “technical error” for the incident.

The release of the new iPhone 14 Pro models has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, as stated by Apple recently. The main production facility located in Zhengzhou, China is where the majority of the impact of these restrictions has occurred. Apple said in a statement-

“The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of the workers in our supply chain.”

Apple has not yet released a timeline for the transition, but it is widely expected that this shift in production will be gradual. It remains to be seen how this shift will affect Apple’s global supply chain. The move is likely to benefit other Asian countries that can provide a more cost-effective workforce and infrastructure, provided Apple can ensure the same standards of quality and production.

We will have to wait and see how this move impacts the tech giant and the global production chain in the long run.

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