(Yicai Global) March 9 -- The chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, did not sign any binding agreement to raise the Apple supplier’s investment in India during his recent visit to the country, according to an insider at the company.
“If confirmed, the deal will be announced in accordance with the requirements of the stock exchange regulator,” the person told Yicai Global.
Foxconn Chairman Liu Yangwei was in India between Feb. 27 and March 4. Photos circulating on social media of him shaking hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparked speculation about Foxconn increasing its investment in the country.
The iPhone assembler plans to invest about USD700 million to build a plant in India to ramp up local production, Bloomberg News reported on March 4, citing people familiar with the matter. New Taipei-based Foxconn declined to comment on the news.
On March 5, Indian news outlet The Economic Times reported that Foxconn said negotiations with Indian state governments and internal reviews to invest in the country are going on, although the world’s largest contract manufacturer did not sign any definitive agreements during Liu’s six-day trip to the country.
“On the basis to share, collaborate and thrive together, Foxconn will continue to communicate with local governments to seek the most beneficial development opportunities for the company and all stakeholders,” The Economic Times reported Liu as saying in a statement.
The Telangana state government published a letter allegedly signed by Liu on March 6 in which Foxconn’s chairman confirms the company will build a facility in the Indian state. “Foxconn is committed to setting up a manufacturing facility in Kongara Kalan and I seek the support of your team in operationalizing the Kongara Kalan Park as early as possible,” Liu allegedly said in the letter.
Bloomberg Intelligence expects India’s share of the iPhone assembly market to increase to between 10 percent and 15 percent from less than 5 percent. In recent years, the Indian government has made great efforts to increase the consumer electronics industry’ shares of the country’s manufacturing sector.
Last year, Apple’s iPhones were mostly assembled in China and India, with China accounting for 96 percent and India 4 percent, Ivan Lam, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research, told Yicai Global. That is expected to change this year to 93 percent and 7 percent, respectively, he added.
In terms of plant efficiency, China is still Apple’s most important manufacturing base, and it will not change in the near future, said Guo Zijiao, analyst at research institute Omdia Display.
Some social media users recently said that Foxconn Shenzhen laid off a large number of hourly workers and is dismantling its production line in the city. But the person in charge of the company denied the rumors yesterday, adding that the Shenzhen park is operating normally.
Editors: Shi Yi, Futura Costaglione