Foxconn adds $1 bln to investment in giant Apple India plant in Bengaluru

Foxconn Technology Group has won approval to invest at least $1 billion more in a plant it’s building in India that will make Apple Inc. products, a major ramp-up in its goal of building a hub beyond China.

The world’s biggest assembler of iPhones plans to spend that amount on top of the $1.6 billion it earlier set aside for the 300-acre site close to Bengaluru’s airport, people familiar with the matter said. The new capital will bankroll additional capacity for Apple devices, including likely the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said, declining to be named as the information is private.

Including the most recently approved spending, the Taiwanese firm will have set aside roughly $2.7 billion for the site, set to become the centerpiece of the its manufacturing capabilities in India. The outlay underscores how Foxconn and its manufacturing peers are shifting capacity away from China, which is mired in an economic downturn and struggling to deal with US tensions.

Foxconn, Apple’s most important manufacturing partner, has ramped up its budget for the plant at least once this year. It started out in early 2023 with plans to invest just $700 million in the complex, located in the southern tech hub of Karnataka. Though the bulk of the new investment is for Apple, Foxconn is likely to use a portion of the money and the plant to make devices and components such as electric vehicle parts for other customers.

Karnataka’s government said Tuesday it had approved another 139.11 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) of overall Foxconn investment in the state, without specifying details. The company could also use the site to produce parts for its nascent EV business, Bloomberg News reported in March.

Foxconn and Apple representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Apple’s partners are accelerating efforts to establish a supply chain in India at a time Chinese firms are edging away from the country amid tensions between New Delhi and Beijing. India’s Tata conglomerate, another Apple partner, is seeking to build one of India’s biggest iPhone assembly plants in southern Tamil Nadu state.

India’s regulatory scrutiny of smartphone makers such as Xiaomi Corp. and Vivo has also discouraged some Chinese companies from setting up operations in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.

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