Apple Supplier Foxconn Shifts Gears From iPhones to Electric Cars

Young Liu, the chairman and CEO of Apple supplier Foxconn, has revealed the company’s future plans amidst rising global tensions and the ongoing pandemic. The Taiwanese tech giant, best known for manufacturing over half of Apple’s products, is now setting its sights on the electric vehicle (EV) market.

As the US-China tensions escalate, Liu told BBC News Foxconn is preparing for the worst-case scenarios, which could include Beijing attempting to blockade or invade Taiwan. The company has already started “business continuity planning,” moving some production lines linked to “national security products” from China to Mexico and Vietnam.

Despite these geopolitical challenges, Liu remains confident about Foxconn’s business model, which relies on US designs and Chinese manufacturing. He stated that this model is far from over, given the significant number of jobs Foxconn creates in China.

However, the company is not immune to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late 2022, Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou, the world’s biggest iPhone plant, was hit hard by protests and riots due to harsh Covid policies and the spread of the Omicron variant. Reflecting on these events, Liu admitted that he would have handled things differently and would stop production altogether if a similar situation occurred again.

Despite these challenges, Foxconn is looking to the future with its new venture into the EV market. Liu described an electric car as a “big iPhone,” highlighting the company’s familiarity with the technology involved. Foxconn aims to capture about 5% of the global electric vehicle market in the next few years, with plans to establish car factories in Ohio, Thailand, Indonesia, and potentially India.

As Foxconn diversifies its production and supply lines, Liu believes that the company’s future lies in both electronic products and electric cars. Despite the global challenges, Foxconn is determined to drive forward with its ambitious plans.

Electric cars are becoming the new frontier, as they’re basically smartphones on wheels. It’s pretty exciting following the innovations we’re seeing on the EV front, whereas phones have plateaued. When will we see drastic changes to the iPhone?

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