“Taoyuan’s Department of Labor will launch an investigation next week into allegations that Apple supplier Career Technology forced 200 full-time employees to sign voluntary resignation papers before the Lunar New Year,” The China Post reports. “Employees at Career Technology reported that operations at the company’s factory in Guanyin have been shut down for more than two weeks and that 200 employees were forced to sign a voluntary termination of employment form so that the company could avoid paying severance.”

“Career Technology, which supplies flexible printed circuit-boards (FPCB) for iPhone antennas, said there had to be a misunderstanding, according to the department,” The China Post reports. “The company said it offered employees three options — resignation, retirement, or being laid off — when they were asked to fill out the application form, and the employees must have mistaken that for a voluntary resignation form.”

“Though the company denied forcing workers to accept voluntary resignations, it acknowledged that the factory’s low capacity usage made it necessary to adjust the size of its workforce,” The China Post reports. “Those who were laid off will be paid severance and other benefits in accordance with the Labor Standards Act, Career Technology said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll be interested to see what Taoyuan’s Department of Labor comes up with, if anything.

The foreign exchange headwinds that iPhone faced/faces in China continue to gust.

The relative strength of the U.S. dollar has made our products more expensive in many parts of the world…

If you look at what we did this past year, we priced the iPhone Xs in the U.S. the same as we priced the iPhone X a year ago. The iPhone Xs Max, which was new, was $100 more than the Xs. And then we priced the XR right in the middle of where the entry iPhone 8 and entry iPhone 8 Plus have been priced. So, it’s actually a pretty small difference in the United States compared to last year.

However, the foreign exchange issue… amplified that difference in international markets, in particular, the emerging markets which tended to move much more significantly versus the dollar. And so, what we have done in January and in some locations and some products is essentially absorbed part or all of the foreign currency move as compared to last year and therefore get close or perhaps right on the local price from a year ago. So, yes, I do think that price is a factor. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, Q119 conference call, January 29, 2019

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Apple iPhone sales ‘explode’ following price cuts in China – February 1, 2019