As a major push for Make In India Apple plans to eventually relocate its manufacturing units from China and start production in countries like India. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has instructed the manufacturers, which it outsources, that the technology giant wants to leave China, citing Beijing’s strong position in the fight against coronavirus, among a number of other factors.

The report also argues that countries such as India and Vietnam, where a small portion of Apple’s global production comes from, are likely to be the main choices for countries that manufacturing corporations see as an alternative to China.

It is estimated that independent contractors produce more than 90% of Apple products such as iPhones, iPads and MacBooks in China. Beijing’s communist regime and the conflicts it has had with the US government are some of the other reasons why Apple wants to relocate its production facilities.

According to those familiar with Apple’s production plans, the company sees India as the next China because of its large population and low costs.

With the exception of India, China has the largest number of skilled workers compared to other Asian countries. Apple is working closely with China’s local government to ensure that its manufacturing contractors have enough land, staff and materials to assemble iPhones and other devices at their huge plants.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in April, “Our supply chain is truly global, and that’s why products are made everywhere.” He also said: “We continue to look for optimization.”

Before COVID-19 spread around the world in early 2020, Apple was already trying to withdraw its manufacturing units from China, but the pandemic thwarted all plans to do so. According to people familiar with the talks, Apple is once again putting pressure on and directing contractors where they should look for new production facilities, and giving priority to India and Vietnam.

Due to travel restrictions in China, Apple was able to send only a few executives and engineers to the country to conduct an inventory of the production capacity of its contractors. The limited number of engineers and executives meant that Apple could not evaluate these facilities as thoroughly as one would have liked.

In addition, severe power outages in several prominent industrial areas of China and anti-COVID-19 policies in Shanghai, which have caused supply chain problems, have also damaged China’s reliability reputation.

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