What you need to know
- Apple released its Supplier Responsibility report for 2021 last week.
- Analysis shows China has grown to be its largest manufacturing base, with 51 of the 200 companies listed based there.
Analysis of Apple's 2021 Supplier Responsibility report has revealed that China has surpassed Taiwan to become the company's largest manufacturing base.
From Nikkei Asia:
As the report notes, Apple's disclosures do not cover procurement value and money spent with each company, so the analysis represents a geographical spread of suppliers rather than reflecting the economic value of any of the relationships.
One Apple supply chain manager told the outlet that "most Chinese suppliers have very similar approaches", offering "very low prices" that suppliers in other countries "find hard to imagine":
The report notes China is also driving production beyond its shores, with companies like Luxshare Precision Industry and Goertek expanding into Vietnam, which grew from 14 companies on the list in 2018 to 21 this year.
Apple's heavy investment in China has drawn continued scrutiny from commenters, with concerns raised regarding reports of forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China, as well as the handling of customer data in the country. Apple states that in 2020 it conducted 1121 supplier assessments in 53 countries, finding no evidence of forced or involuntary labor, or child workers.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9