What happened: Taiwanese iPhone supplier Foxconn announced over the weekend that it is investing more than $200 million in India and Vietnam as it shifts more of its output to Southeast Asia. Foxconn’s smaller rival Pegatron Corp. also announced on Sunday that it has moved part of its manufacturing of networking gear to Indonesia and is now looking to expand its production base to Vietnam and India.
Why it’s important: Taiwanese electronics manufacturers, which are responsible for making a large portion of the world’s electronics, have been shifting production bases outside of China and into other countries as US tariffs on Chinese imports escalate. Many of these companies are turning to countries in Southeast Asia to decrease their dependence on China. The tension between the world’s two largest economies is a delicate situation, especially since a new round of trade talks is scheduled at the end of the month. The White House has threatened to raise the tariff rates significantly on $200 billion in Chinese goods if a deal isn’t reached by March 1.