Advantech boss: China will suffer if President Trump makes good on vow to make Apple iPhones in America

“The Chinese economy could be hit hard if U.S. President Donald Trump makes good on his vow to bring Apple’s iPhone supply chain back home, said a senior executive at Taiwan’s Advantech, the world’s largest industrial PC maker,” Cheng Ting-Fang reports for Nikkei.

“”China is likely to feel a huge impact if Trump sticks to his pledge to have iPhones assembled in the U.S.,” Advantch President Chaney Ho told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview on Nov. 30,” Cheng reports. “‘China could see jobs disappear, and the Chinese economy could continue to slide,’ Ho said. China is expected to post lower economic growth in 2016 than the 6.9% it recorded in 2015, the country’s weakest in 25 years.”

“After the election on Nov. 8, Trump told The New York Times that he spoke with Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook over the phone and told him to build plants in the U.S. rather than expand its manufacturing sites in China and Vietnam,” Cheng reports. “Ho said that it would indeed be possible for Apple to transfer its iPhone manufacturing process to the U.S., the gadget’s largest market. This is because the process can be highly automated to produce large quantities, given that there are just a few iPhone models.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like a nice bargaining chip.

Can President Trump bring Apple iPhone factories back to America? – February 4, 2017
Foxconn has 10 lights-out production lines, aims to fully automate entire factories – December 30, 2016
Apple iPhone production in the actually straightforward and not expensive – November 24, 2016
President-elect Trump tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that he’d like to see Apple make products in the U.S. – November 23, 2016
Could President Trump be the catalyst for an all-American iPhone? – November 18, 2016
Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
President Trump’s Made-in-America hurdle: Asia – November 16, 2016
Apple assembler Foxconn now has 40,000 ‘Foxbot’ robots working at factories in China – October 5, 2016
Apple supplier Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots – May 25, 2016
Foxconn robots better, but still not precise enough to assemble Apple iPhones – December 5, 2014
Foxconn CEO disappointed with current-gen iPhone-assembling robots; next-gen ‘Foxbots’ in the works – September 22, 2014
Foxconn to deploy ‘Foxbot’ robots for iPhone assembly – July 7, 2014
Why Foxconn’s iPhone robots could create American jobs – February 2, 2014
Apple dives deeper into designing and inventing robots, other manufacturing tech – November 22, 2013
Robots made Apple switch to ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Macs – December 11, 2012
Foxconn’s 2012 plan: More robots, no layoffs, zero suicides, new factories – November 22, 2011
Foxconn to replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years – July 31, 2011


    1. Don’t worry. You have Meryl Streep, Bruce Springsteen, Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren and assorted other oddballs.

      We have the Presidency, the Senate, the House, 34 Governorships, almost all Statehouses, and will soon dominate the Courts.

      1. Dream on, bitty. A fairly narrow win in an election does not translate to a radical right-wing dictatorship.

        Your SCREAMING statement that the people who disagree with your political platform have no power is ridiculous and directly contradicts your claimed support for our sacred representative democracy as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

        Make up your mind botty…does a vote count only when it is consistent with yours? I am sorry to say that your radical repudiation of our democracy makes *you* and *your ilk* one of the chief enemies of this country.

        1. I’ll line list it for you, Melvin:
          • The White House
          • The Senate
          • The House of Representatives
          • The Supreme Court
          • The Governorships
          • The State Houses

          Melvin, you and your fellow libtards have lost the executive, judicial and legislative branches on both the federal and state levels. You have been reduced to goons, anarchists, media propagandists, an array of obscene celebrities and your leader: George Soros.

          The jig is up.

    1. It could be much more than wishful thinking if it happens to be tied as a condition of receiving a low tax rate for repatriation. If there is a requirement that the money be used to support US operations in some way, it’s much more likely production would move. I’m not predicting it WILL happen, only that it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The tax plan, once revealed, will likely tell us whether this is the case or not.

  1. Yeah… I’m as much of an optimist as the next guy, but I’m curious… in a REAL sense… best case scenario, how long would it take for ONLY the iPhones made for the American market to be made in America? We all realize that this isn’t going to happen next month or even next year because a single factory has yet to break ground and no factory employee has been hired.

    It all sounds pretty and rosy to say we’re GOING to do it. But the timeline to fruition is quite long and anything could happen in the meantime that would change the dynamics of the equation.

    And why do people keep using “back”? 🙂 Is that to drive home the narrative that iPhones USED to be made here which they never were? Or is that for manufacturing jobs in general?

    1. Anyone not in construction, engineering or design falls for this next month wishful thinking, Apples new office building from buying the land, design, to a finish building is what 6 to 8 years?

    2. Tim Cook’s strategy may very well be to placate the orange buffoon with plans that won’t cost much to discuss. Then, when the idiot finally does something illegal enough to make the spineless Republicans in Congress actually impeach and remove him, those stupid plans can be abandoned.

      I assume a lot of powerful people around the world and in the U.S. are doing something similar.
      “Don’t look the dangerously crazy person in the eyes! Just say friendly-sounding, non-committal nonsense while keeping a safe distance.”

  2. China won’t suffer nearly as much as we will. China manufactures so many items for so many industrialized nations that it won’t be a big imposition on them. But the people who will suffer will be the American consumers who will have to pay a higher price for their iPhones (American workers will not tolerate the low wages that Chinese workers accept on their manufacturing “farms”). Assuming American workers did manufacture iPhones at higher salaries American consumers would have to pay a price for iPhones commensurate with the cost of American-made iPhones. Apple might also suffer due to people not willing to pay these new, higher prices.

    China will be just fine. Trump knows little about running a successful business—five bankruptcies?!—and doesn’t understand that manufacturing iPhones here is impractical and probably impossible. He is very good at bullying the “little man” or little company (i.e., cheating them out of promised wages or threatening to renege on his bonds), but you don’t mess with China. China is not some third-world country that can be smacked around. He also fails to understand that running a country is very different from running a company (which, again, he does poorly).

    Regardless of how you feel about Trump, iPhones will not be made in the United States.

    1. –American workers will not tolerate the low wages that Chinese workers accept on their manufacturing “farms”–
      If anyone has the power to shame American companies into doing the right thing by Americans, it’s Donald Trump. For the first factories that get set up, I’d like to see a requirement that people get paid such that they don’t have to take a second job to make ends meet. Creating factory jobs is noble, creating jobs that PAY well is what people really want.

    2. “Trump knows little about running a successful business—five bankruptcies?!”

      I’m sure he really cares about this nonsense. According to Forbes one of the richest people in the world, $9.5 billion revenue via a family owned company, now elected President.

    3. Trump is not a “businessman.” He was a developer. Any other businesses associated with Trump are simply stamped with his name – Trump water, Trump steak, Trump University…none of them actually contain any Trump. They are virtually Trump-free. I wish the country was Trump-free.

  3. Last time I looked Tim Cook was in charge of Apple and Tim Cook decides where Apple products are made.

    Input is nice and I think it’s valuable for Tim Cook to have all the facts but in the end, it’s Apple’s call and no one else.

    At least for the time being.

    1. But, don’t you think that government has a place in ensuring that companies are doing what’s best for America and Americans? Letting companies make their own decisions led to this whole offshoring situation to start with. Government has the powerful to make it as painful to companies as companies are making it painful for American companies.

      1. No! You are indeed Wrong Again!

        The U.S. government made the laws, rules, and regulations including taxes, tariffs, etc. The corporate sector responded to those laws (made the business decisions) in a manner that they felt best fulfilled their objectives. If you desire a different outcome, then government should change the rules in a manner that leads businesses to change their decisions. Government (Trump) should not publicly bully companies into particular courses of action. Trump’s actions are so far divorced from the Republican platform that I cannot understand the silence from the right. Trump is positioning himself as a new form of business regulation, and one apparently without any checks or balances. Utter insanity.

      2. Thanks for your post Wrong Again

        Let’s take a look at that first sentence: “But, don’t you think that government has a place in ensuring that companies are doing what’s best for America and Americans?”

        No I don’t. I believe that government has a place in ensuring that companies are doing what’s best for their people. I know it’s a tough concept but I hope you can understand that that.

        Letting companies make their own decisions led Apple into being a global enterprise, selling it’s products around the world.

  4. Oh the irony of bringing iPhone final assembly to the U.S. That’ll surely bring the jobs back right…?

    Steve was right when he said those jobs are never coming back. Apple can and likely will (if for purely political considerations) stand up a new assembly plant in the U.S. But it will be highly automated and require a relatively small number of highly skilled employees to maintain the assembly line equipment. The low skilled and non-college degreed need not apply. On top of that, final assembly doesn’t add much value to the overall product value chain. Seems like a lot of effort for very little gain.

    You want jobs for Americans? Give them great schools and upgrade the country’s infrastructure to be the best in world. Pandering to the low skilled with trade barriers and Government meddling in business decisions is the worst of both worlds.

  5. It is not Trump’s call where Apple (or any other country) makes its products. If Trump and Congress want to change the laws to incentivize manufacturing in the U.S. and/or penalized offshore manufacturing, then that is within their power, as long as those laws do not violate the Constitution. But the choice would still be Apple’s to make — this is *not* a bargaining chip controlled by Trump, and he would be well advised to keep his tiny hands out of private business interests in the U.S.

    It also appears necessary to point out that “assembly” is only one part of the manufacturing chain. Many of the electronics components used in iPhones are produced in China and elsewhere.

    One more reminder – I have posted on many occasions that robotics and automation would enable high-value added manufacturing/assembly in the U.S. because the impact of the cost of labor would be reduced. I recall catching a lot of flak about those posts. Suck it, because now a lot of you appear to be jumping on board the train.

    1. People seem to get ginned up by the politics here and are focusing on the wrong arguments. Let me first agree with some of your arguments (from several of your posts above) before telling you where you’re probably off base or at least missing something meaningful.

      I agree that many of the menial assembly jobs won’t return to the US even if we bring the “manufacturing” here. China could loose 600,000 manual labor jobs, the US might pick up a few thousand robotic operation jobs to replace them for example. It won’t be a 1:1 switch. Even so, it will be beneficial to the US to move manufacturing here from elsewhere in terms of US employment.

      I agree with you that it’s generally not the place of an elected official to tell a private company where or what it should do. I also agree that Apple and other companies long ago largely moved process overseas because of tax laws and other favorable treatment. While Trump is a little brutish in how he is openly browbeating companies in the interim period, it is highly likely that the tax laws WILL be changed to advantage exports and penalize imports at some point in the future. Advertising this is actually a good thing, not a bad one. Telling companies they should be investing here rather than abroad because “change is coming”. Similarly, we haven’t seen the tax plan. Any reduced tax repatriation could be contingent on companies spending the money on building growth opportunities at home. It likely will in fact. If so, what Trump is doing is a service to these companies long term even if it appears heavy handed and self serving at present.

      1. I don’t understand. Do you mean his comments about fake news? I did dump a comment at the thread pointing out that ‘fake news’ is nothing new and that it’s a current chatter meme mainly because of it being fumbling and bumbling nonsense from fumbling and bumbling nonsensical people.

        Lying in public isn’t illegal in the USA as long as it isn’t slander. But I do favor a law requiring that offensive liars be forced to crawl through a spanking machine of a length corresponding to the offensiveness of their lie. 🙀

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