Vietnam approve $350m Foxconn factory for Apple Macbook, iPad

More Apple devices will be manufactured outside of China after the company that builds iPhones, MacBooks and other products for the tech giant invested heavily in neighbouring Vietnam.

Foxconn is a Taiwanese assembly-partner for companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Sony and others, operating sometimes specially-built plants to produce their devices all around the world, predominantly in China.

But not for long.

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Last year, Foxconn chairman Young Liu declared China’s “days as the world’s factory are done” as device manufacturers began diversifying their supply chains in response to restrictive trade tariffs on Chinese-made goods in the US.

When Mr Liu made those comments Foxconn had around 30 per cent of its manufacturing capacity outside of China, but he indicated that proportion would likely increase.

“No matter if it’s India, South-East Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each,” Mr Liu said.

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India is interested and has recently been seeking to attract device manufacturing to the nation.

Vietnam has also given Foxconn a thumbs-up, according to Reuters, with the approval of a new $US270 million ($A350 million) plant to be built near Hanoi that’s expected to be used to assemble new MacBooks and iPads.

Apple reportedly asked Foxconn to move some manufacturing for those devices to Vietnam in November in order to diversify production amid ongoing US-China trade tensions.

A statement from the Vietnamese government said the plant would produce around eight million devices every year, and Foxconn planned to hire 10,000 local workers.

The plant comes on top of the $US1.5 billion Foxconn ($A1.95 billion) has already invested in Vietnam and is separate from another $1.3 billion ($A1.7 billion) state media reported it’s planning to invest in the Thanh Hoa province.

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