“A vast, boxy customs center acts as a busy island of commerce deep in central China,” David Barboza reports for The New York Times. “Government officers, in sharply pressed uniforms, race around a maze of wooden pallets piled high with boxes — counting, weighing, scanning and approving shipments. Unmarked trucks stretch for more than a mile awaiting the next load headed for Beijing, New York, London and dozens of other destinations.”
“The state-of-the-art facility was built several years ago to serve a single global exporter: Apple, now the world’s most valuable company and one of China’s largest retailers,” Barboza reports. “The well-choreographed customs routine is part of a hidden bounty of perks, tax breaks and subsidies in China that supports the world’s biggest iPhone factory, according to confidential government records reviewed by The New York Times, as well as more than 100 interviews with factory workers, logistics handlers, truck drivers, tax specialists and current and former Apple executives. The package of sweeteners and incentives, worth billions of dollars, is central to the production of the iPhone, Apple’s best-selling and most profitable product.”
“It all centers on Zhengzhou, a city of six million,” Barboza reports. “American officials have long decried China’s support of its state-owned companies, calling the subsidies and other aid an unfair competitive advantage in a global marketplace. But the Zhengzhou operation shows the extent of China’s effort to entice overseas multinationals to set up production facilities in the country.”
“Foxconn, in a separate statement, said it was grateful for the support of the government, noting that it was ‘no different than similar tax breaks all companies get in locations around the world for major investments,'” Barboza reports. “A growing backlash against globalization puts Apple and other big multinationals directly in the sightlines of two increasingly combative giants: the United States and China.”
“President-elect Donald J. Trump has vowed to bring down the full force of the government on American companies that move jobs overseas, threatening punitive tariffs on the goods they sell back at home,” Barboza reports. “China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, is growing less tolerant and more suspicious of Western influence, particularly American technology companies and the huge influence they have over Chinese consumers.”
Tons more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’ll soon begin to see how the politics and trade dance between the U.S. and China will play out for Apple.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Citymark” for the heads up.]