New Delhi (Sputnik) — In the midst of intense national elections in India, Foxconn Technology, the largest producer of Apple iPhones, has announced that it will shift its production base from China to India. The announcement will provide a boost to ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Narendra Modi, in the ongoing election.
The party is facing flak from opposition parties as leaked government data suggest that the unemployment rate in India stood at 6.1 per cent in 2017, its highest level since 1972-73.
"In the future, we will play a very important role in India's smartphone industry," Terry Gou chairman of Foxconn Technology said at an event in Taiwan. "We have moved our production lines there."
The chairman of the single largest employer in mainland China announced that iPhones will go into mass production in India this year. There are 1.3 million people on Foxconn's payroll in China alone.
Apple had been asking for concessions, including duty exemptions on manufacturing, repair units, components, capital equipment including parts and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service/repair for a period of 15 years to keep the cost of producing the phones very low. The Indian government categorically refused to provide such concessions for the company.
Apple's share of India's $400 smartphone segment stood at 23% in 2018, behind both Samsung and OnePlus, according to data from Hong Kong-based tech researcher Counterpoint. It has been also staring at a falling sales in China which forced the iconic brand to lower prices. Earlier this month, Apple reduced the prices of one of its latest iPhones by one-fourth to corner the highly price-sensitive market in India.