Foxconn Technology Group is facing a battle of talent in Vietnam as major suppliers to Apple Inc continue to shift some capacity from China to the South-East Asia country on prolonged tensions between Beijing and Washington.
The chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Foxconn’s flagship unit, said its Chinese rivals in Vietnam have set up operations near its campuses to poach the company’s employees.
“The move shouldn’t be condoned,” Young Liu told reporters in Taipei on Saturday, without naming any companies.
Three of Foxconn’s China-based competitors are now in Vietnam: Luxshare Precision Industry Co and GoerTek Inc make AirPods there while BYD is preparing to produce iPads.
The key Apple assembly partner now employs about 60,000 people in Vietnam, the company’s largest manufacturing base outside of China, Liu said. Liu said Foxconn will “significantly” increase the numbers of employees in Vietnam over the next one to two years, without providing a specific number.
During the Trump administration, the US implemented various measures including tariffs on certain products imported from China in an attempt to reshape global supply chains. The Biden administration is looking to reconfigure the China tariffs, but US officials have not made major changes so far.
While Foxconn still relies on China for most of its production, the world’s largest contract electronics maker has had to make adjustments to mitigate risks from the trade war.
The Taiwanese company had planned to move some production of iPads and MacBooks to a new plant in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang, Bloomberg News reported in 2020. The site was originally slated to begin production in 2021, with the Vietnamese government saying the company could invest US$700mil (RM3.09bil) that year.
It is unclear whether that site is now up and running, and Liu did not offer an update on the construction progress on Saturday. Foxconn has been making electronics in Vietnam for years, even before the US trade war with China began under the Trump administration. – Bloomberg