Apple supplier Foxconn is apparently starting the process of setting up manufacturing operations in India. This appears to be separate from the plant Apple is reportedly setting up in the country, making Foxconn the second big win for the Indian Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative.
Foxconn meets with Indian officials
The Hindu Business Line reports that Foxconn has met with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to seek help with setting up the facility. The chief minister reportedly held a closed-door meeting with senior executives from the Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer on Tuesday.
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The meeting was said to be about ongoing problems and details related to acquiring land for the facility. Foxconn is reportedly seeking help identifying available land of a large size located in Maharashtra state. An unnamed official with the chief minister’s help told The Hindu Business Line that the office is helping the company identify appropriate land parcels.
Foxconn has been working on this for a while
The media outlet reports that Foxconn signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra State Government to set up manufacturing operations in February 2016. The company reportedly agreed to invest 30,000 crore for a facility that could employ up to 50,000 people.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office tweeted that Foxconn’s Simon CP Hsing and Vincent Huang met with Fadnavis to reiterate their company’s plans to build the factory and invest the amount set forth in the MoU a year ago. The agency also said that the state is the company’s preferred location for its factory.
Foxconn’s original commitment in 2016 was for a parcel of land that was 1,200 acres in size. The company planned to build products for various customers, including Apple. According to Apple Insider, sources estimate a timeframe of about 18 months between the legitimate beginning of a deal until the factory is up and running. The tech website speculates that the cost of the land, access to services, and lower-than-expected earnings may have caused the Taiwan-based gadget manufacturer to delay its plans to build in India.
Apple seeks incentives from Indian officials
India is widely seen as the next big global smartphone market after China, so the timing of major tech firms moving into the country is apt. We heard earlier this month that Apple has agreed to set up manufacturing operations in India as well, although the facility should be operational much sooner than Foxconn’s facility. Apple’s facility is expected to be built in Karnataka State rather than Maharashtra, and Wistron will be assembling iPhones there.
Indian officials have said that the company expects to be building iPhones there by the end of April, and the phones that will be manufactured there are specifically for the Indian market. Apple reportedly sought big incentives from the government, although it’s unclear whether Foxconn has done the same.