Apple supplier Foxconn plans to expand its workforce four times in the next two years at the company’s plant in Tamil Nadu. The report comes in when Foxconn is facing disruption in manufacturing iPhones in China due to several factors, including ‘Zero Covid’ curbs. The iPhone maker plans to recruit 53,000 more workers to expand it to around 70,000 in the country, according to a Reuters report quoting Indian government officials. Currently, Foxconn’s Tamil Nadu facility is assembling flagship ships models like iPhone 14.
Recently, the world’s largest iPhone factory -Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China with around 2,00,000 workers- caught attention when hundreds of workers from the facility reportedly fled from the company’s compound over tight restrictions. As per reports, the employees escaped from the “closed loop” system induced by the country’s stringent COVID rules mandating the workers to sleep, live, and work within a designated area isolated from the outside world.
Since the COVID pandemic hit the world, Foxconn facilities across China suffered major setbacks due to enforced lockdowns and closed-loop systems. Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou, which is also known as an ‘iPhone city’, faced disruption in iPhone manufacturing due to Chinese policies combined with accelerated China-U.S. trade tensions.
Foxconn, a Taiwan-based company, set up its facility in India, back in 2019 but began manufacturing iPhones only earlier this year. The Reuters report said that Foxconn’s planned expansion in India “is central to Apple’s efforts to shift production away from China”. It further added that the Tamil Nadu government and Foxconn are currently “finalizing” plans for the expansion. Officials in Tamil Nadu reportedly were also pushing Apple suppliers to branch out into manufacturing components for iPhones beyond just assembly.
Apple started iPhone 14 manufacturing in India at its contract manufacturer Foxconn’s plant in Sriperumbudur near Chennai in September. A recent report from JP Morgan suggested that Apple will move about five per cent of iPhone 14 manufacturing in India from late 2022 and reach 25 per cent by 2025. Nearly 25 per cent of all Apple products will be manufactured outside China by 2025, the report added.