Apple supplier Foxconn hit as India holds up imports from China: sources
September 20, 2020
Asia

Apple supplier Foxconn, others hit as India puts imports from China on hold: sources

NEW DELHI (INDIA) – India’s additional inquiry of imports from China has disrupted operations at plants owned by Apple supplier Foxconn in southern India, according to three sources. Other foreign firms are also having to face delays as tensions between the two countries started brewing.

Customs officers at Indian ports have suspended shipments from China and sought additional clearances after fatal clashes at the disputed Himalayan border last month. The checks have been imposed without any formal order.

Several companies such as Apple and Dell have been struggling to free stuck shipments, Hundreds of employees at Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn’s two plants in the south did not have any major work to do this week because of the delay in shipments, sources said.

More than 150 Foxconn shipments – containing smartphone and electronic parts – were held up at the port of Chennai. However, some are being cleared slowly now, the first source said. The total number of parts in the shipments was not clear.

Foxconn’s two plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh state mainly assemble Apple and Xiaomi smartphones in the country. Thousands work in the plants, many of whom live in company-provided accommodation.

“Foxconn was in a very bad state … lots of workers stayed at the dormitory because there was no work,” said the first source.

However, Foxconn, Apple and Xiaomi did not respond to queries.

The finance ministry also did not respond. Two officials at the ministry, which oversees the functioning of the customs department, said the inspection measures were temporary and will be relaxed soon.

“We cannot keep checking 100% of shipments forever … Shipments of non-Chinese companies being impacted will be cleared on priority,” said one official.

While it is not clear as to the exact impact of the disruptions immediately, the delays come when companies in India had already been grappling with disrupted supply chains due to coronavirus shutdowns in the past few months. Business activity has only just begun to pick up.

Prominent US-India lobby groups and local industry bodies have asked the Indian government to intervene.

While some delayed Dell shipments have been cleared since last week, the company had around 130 shipments stuck this week at Indian ports, the second source said. The shipments included around six shipping containers with parts for servers and desktop computers, the person added.

Dell did not respond to a request for comment.

Separately, MG Motor, owned by China’s SAIC, also has some shipments stuck at a port in southern India, a source close to the company said. MG started selling cars in India last year and has committed $650 million in investments.

“The whole (auto) industry will be impacted if components are stuck,” the source said.

MG Motor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After India banned some Chinese mobile apps amid the border crisis, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped India would change its discriminatory actions against Chinese companies immediately.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.

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