With governments tightening border controls to contain outbreaks of new variants of the coronavirus, Apple, Google, and Amazon’s plans to shift production from China to Vietnam appear to be slowing down, the Nikkei Asia reports.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the source notes that Apple will start mass-producing its latest AirPods earphones in China instead of in Vietnam as previously planned. The company, however, still hopes to move around 20% of new AirPods production to Vietnam in the near future.
Similarly, Google’s upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone range will now be manufactured in China even though the company had planned to move production of the handsets to northern Vietnam last year.
Apple’s plan to bring some MacBook and iPad production to Vietnam has also been put on hold due to a lack of engineering resources, an incomplete notebook computer supply chain and the dynamic COVID situation, one of the people said.
AirPods — both entry-level and high-end models — were among the earliest products that Apple began making in significant amounts in Vietnam.
China earlier this month confirmed it had tightened border controls and slowed the issuance of new passports and travel documents to contain outbreaks of the delta variant.