20:03 GMT21 February 2020
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    India’s opposition Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi earlier attacked the Narendra Modi government for destroying jobs through policy missteps. An average of 30,000 jobs were lost every day. Foxconn's announcement to shift its production base from China to India is expected to boost support for Modi’s ruling party.

    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." 

    READ MORE: Bank of China Opens its First Branch in India to Boost Financial Cooperation

    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.

    Gou said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended open arms to him as his Taiwanese company had planned its expansion in the country, in addition to the two assembly sites already operating in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where it makes devices for Xiaomi and Nokia.

    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.

    READ MORE: Apple Builds First N China Data Centre in Line With Country’s New Telecom Rules

    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.


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