Apple looks to diversify manufacturing outside of China due to draconian COVID-19 restrictions

Apple has told some of its contract manufacturers that it wants to boost production outside China, citing the Chinese Communist Party’s draconian, quixotic “zero-COVID” policy among other reasons, The Wall Street Journal reports citing “people involved in the discussions.”

Quality assurance, iMac production, China (Image via Apple's Supplier Responsibility 2020 Progress Report)
Quality assurance, iMac production, China (Image via Apple’s Supplier Responsibility 2020 Progress Report)

Yang Jie for The Wall Street Journal:

India and Vietnam, already sites for a small portion of Apple’s global production, are among the countries getting a closer look from the company as alternatives to China, the people said.

More than 90% of Apple products such as iPhones, iPads and MacBook laptops are manufactured in China by outside contractors, according to analysts. Apple’s heavy dependence on the country is a potential risk because of Beijing’s authoritarian Communist government and its clashes with the U.S., analysts have said…

People who have spoken with Apple about its manufacturing plans said the company sees India as the closest thing to the next China, owing to its large population and low costs.

Taiwan-based assemblers Foxconn Technology Group and Wistron Corp. have already set up factories in India to produce iPhones mainly for that country’s domestic market, where Apple sales are growing rapidly. In April, Apple said it has begun producing the latest generation of iPhones, the iPhone 13 series, in India.

MacDailyNews Take: Better (at least a decade) late than never!

Apple should have been diversifying production long ago to minimize risk, not to mention China’s human rights abuses, authoritarian censorship, and myriad other concerns.

• There’s no such thing as zero-COVID, but this year is the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th party congress, so the farce will continue until the politics no longer dictate tilting at windmills. Then COVID will be allowed to wash through China, as it already has around much of the world.MacDailyNews, May 9, 2022

• In general, human-transmissible coronaviruses do not disappear. There is no such thing as zero-COVID. Duh.

COVID-19 is here to stay. It will very likely become endemic, yet pose less danger over time. People will acquire immunity via vaccines (effectiveness TDB) and naturally as they contract and recover from variants like omicron since the partially-effective vaccines permit not only transmissibility, but also breakthrough infections. Influenza and the four human coronaviruses that cause common colds (OC43, 229E, NL63 and HKU1) are, of course, also endemic, but a combination of annual flu vaccines and acquired immunity means that sane societies tolerate the unavoidable seasonal deaths and illnesses they bring without requiring lockdowns, masks, social distancing, indefinite return-to-work delays, etc.

At which point, if ever, will some people decide that wasting away their short lives in abject fear of a bad flu, very likely engineered by China and partially funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is a hysterical self-defeating overreaction?MacDailyNews, December 16, 2021

• The real virus is the panic.MacDailyNews, March 9, 2020

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  1. The actual WSJ title & subtitle is “Apple Looks to Boost Production Outside China ; iPhone maker tells suppliers it wants to manufacture more in India and Southeast Asia “. This is not news. Apple is a corporation. It always seeks the cheapest manufacturing base, that’s what they all do.

    It seems to be be a surprise to this site that a company must be subject to the local laws where it operates. You act like a US corporation can bring US law and governmental protection with it wherever it goes, or that unilateral go-it-alone tweeting and tariff threats would change foreign behavior. Sorry, that’s just not how it works. Since the Fortune 500 hired managers in the last 40 years rushed to abandon the US — citing labor costs and regulation — now they moan about foreign labor laws and regulation plus transport costs of their subcomponents flying back and forth around the world multiple times before the parts reach final assembly. Saint Steve bluntly said, those jobs aren’t coming back. Which of course meant his poor beleaguered company couldn’t possibly afford it. Right then. It’s hard to feel sympathy for the richest company complaining about the far-flung outsourced manufacturing system its “genius” COO created. Chafe all you want about the guys in Beijing that chant “China First” and brag about sticking it to those greedy capitalists on the other side of the Pacific. Corporate USA sold out, they made the beds they’re sleeping in. Capitalists have been elated to support communism if they could save a buck in the short term. China is strong because sellout US companies made them so. At this point, what benefits would Apple gain by dealing with new self-serving corrupt regimes elsewhere? It’s not like India is cheaper or more efficient, and that’s all that matters to the beancounters. You place all the blame on one scapegoat or another, when in reality all US businesses of all political persuasions did it.

    You must not have taken the difficult task of reading about vaccination, but all FDA-approved vaccines clearly publish the efficacy and trails results. In addition to the trials, hundreds of millions of vaccinated people are in good health. The Fact Sheets for each vaccine, with complete trials data, are easily located

    Also, you should understand what Draconian laws are before waving around that scary label. You like to take great liberties with your exaggerated prose. The actual Athenian politician Draco was the one who implemented the death penalty for offenses that most people then and now would consider minor. Draco was voted out of office and his successor overturned most of Draco’s ridiculous penalties. Today overzealous Chinese quarantines may be highly inconvenient for your consumption of fancy electronic consumer gadgets, but they are not Draconian.

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