Briefing: Apple assesses moving up to 30% of production out of China

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Apple weighs 15%-30% capacity shift out of China amid trade war – Nikkei Asian Review

What happened: Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of moving 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares to restructure its supply chain. People cited by Nikkei said that the decision was made by Apple as a result of the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, but things won’t change even if the disputes were settled. Apple has decided the risks of relying heavily on manufacturing in China are too great and even rising.

Why it’s important: It’s claimed that 90% of Apple’s products, including popular iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, are assembled in China. Apple supplier Wistron has already been assembling cheaper iPhones in India since 2017 and key iPhone assemblers Foxconn said last week that 25% of the company’s production capacity is outside China. Analysts said moving iPhone production entirely outside of China is not impossible but would be difficult considering the cost and the difficulty of finding new component suppliers in a new country.