China / Across America

iPhone supplier Foxconn eyes US

By Amy He in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2017-06-19 09:19

Could Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania become the home of a Foxconn plant that might employ 50,000 to make parts for Apple iPhones?

It's been reported that Wisconsin is in talks with Foxconn to build a $7 billion display-making plant, months after the news that the CEO of Foxconn had met with a representative of Pennsylvania's economic development agency to potentially invest in the state. Michigan is also said to be pursuing the deal.

Representatives from Wisconsin's and Michigan's economic development offices declined to comment on the deal, saying that they do not discuss any pending or potential opportunities. A representative from Pennsylvania did not respond by deadline.

US President Donald Trump alluded to the potential Foxconn investment in Wisconsin during a visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday.

"We have a lot of companies moving into the United States," he said. "We're negotiating with a lot of companies. Just backstage we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions, and I think they're going to give the governor a very happy surprise."

Foxconn, officially called Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd with headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, is the world's largest contract device maker and is most known for its manufacturing work for Apple. Its plants assemble iPhones and other devices for Apple.

A Foxconn spokesperson said the company is "exploring a potential investment that would represent a major expansion" of its current US operations, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"We are engaged in discussions with officials at various levels of government regarding our ongoing plans to significantly increase our investments in the US. Our company is conducting an evaluation of the conditions and potential locations for establishing manufacturing facilities in the US," the person said.

Rumors about a US Foxconn plant began circulating as early as last November, when it was reported that Apple asked suppliers to look into producing the company's smartphones in the US.

CEO Terry Gou downplayed the request, telling reporters in January that a US plant is "not a promise" but a "wish". He also expressed concern over the skills of the US workforce, and said that he wanted guarantees of inexpensive land and electricity before considering the investment.

Foxconn employs more than a million people in China, making electronic devices for brands like Amazon, Google, Dell, Sony, and Nintendo. It produces iPads and Macs for Apple in a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen.

The company reported sales of $137 billion in 2016, a 2.8 percent decrease compared to the year before, which has been attributed to Apple's fall in sales.

Hot Topics