What happened: Foxconn, Apple’s biggest iPhone assembler, has prematurely laid off 50,000 contract workers in China. According to a source, layoffs began in October, much earlier than normal for the company’s China-based factories. Typically, assembly line employees don’t leave their posts until the end of the year, the source said.
Why it’s important: The news comes after Tim Cook’s admission that Apple is losing ground in its biggest market, China. While that’s in part due to the ongoing trade war, it’s also a result of high prices and competition from domestic brands. Earlier this month, Apple cut its production targets for this quarter by 10% due to flagging sales. Along with price cuts on platforms such as e-commerce JD.com, it may hope to recover some of its lost ground in a now-saturated market.