However, the President has said he could extend these tariffs further if trade talks with Beijing do not result in progress in resolving the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries. Apple declined to comment in the Nikkei Asian Review's report.
Apple gets almost a fifth of its revenue from Greater China, and it's widely seen as a potential retaliatory target after the USA slapped restrictions on Chinese telecom giant, Huawei. This new move from Apple is said to be the company's preparation of the radical restructuring of its primary supply chain outside China. This wouldnt happen in China since the state government already invested heavily in infrastructure, water, utilities, and even dormitories for workers, making it even harder for Apple to leave. "The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the USA market, and so would not be impacted by USA tariffs". India and Vietnam are reportedly frontrunners for iPhone production.
Hon Hai, known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) internationally, has said that Apple has not given instructions to move production, but it is capable of moving lines elsewhere according to customers' needs.
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Nikkei's sources said the risks are "too great and even rising", creating an urgent need for Apple to diversify its supply chain. More than 30 people work on production plans with suppliers and negotiate with governments over financial incentives, the report notes. The spat, kicked off by President Donald Trump's rigid ideological belief that China is taking advantage of the USA on trade, shows no signs of cooling off.
Well it seems Asian countries such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia are being mooted, as is Mexico.
Nikkei says that Apple expanded its capital expense studies team at the end of 2018.
iPhone assemblers like Foxconn, Wistron Corp, Pegatron, Campal Electronics Inc, and Goertek are involved in seeking the next location.