Foxconn boss: China's 'days as the world's factory are done'
The US-China trade war has rightly spooked a lot of tech companies as it has the potential to seriously disrupt their product plans. China has long been the global hub of technology manufacturing, but it is proving to be increasingly problematic for a number of geopolitical reasons, but Trump Administration tariffs on Chinese made products are proving challenging. So much so, in fact, that Foxconn Chairman, Young Liu, has said that China’s ‘days as the world’s factory are done.’
Foxconn is the largest contract supplier of smartphone, tablet, console and computers in the world, so the comments of its Chairman are significant. Its highest profile customer is, of course, Apple, but numerous other high-flying companies including Microsoft, Sony, Dell and Nintendo use its manufacturing factories as well. Currently, Foxconn has 30 percent of its manufacturing facilities outside of China and it is continuing to shift manufacturing to other countries in South East Asia and elsewhere.
The Foxconn Chairman made it clear that China will still play an important role in its manufacturing operations, but it won’t be as critical to its operations moving forward. Foxconn is bouncing back after a tough first quarter that was smashed by the Chinese lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak but has since recovered. Apple’s spectacular performance despite the global downturn has managed to buoy Foxconn’s overall results but it clearly isn’t going to just ‘hope for the best’ moving forward.