DigiTimes: Manufacturers explore leaving China at Apple's behest

Iphone Factory China
Iphone Factory China (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple may be moving its supply chain beyond China.
  • DigiTimes reports that chassis maker Catcher Technology is evaluating the feasibility of setting up a plant in Southeast Asia.
  • It says that Apple's supply chain partners may be getting serious about relocating production lines "at the behest of Apple."

A DigiTimes report suggests that Apple may be looking to move its supply chain out of China, as one chassis maker is looking at the feasibility of moving production into Southeast Asia.

According to the report:

Chassis maker (Catcher Technology), as an important supplier for Apple, is mulling plans to move production to Southeast Asia, with rumors claiming the maker is looking to sell its plants in China. This may be an indication that Apple's supply chain partners are getting serious about relocating their production lines out of China at the behest of the client. But the handset supply chain will remain heavily reliant on China.

It continues:

Catcher reportedly mulling setting up factory site in Southeast Asia: Chassis maker Catcher Technology with manufacturing operations mainly in China reportedly is evaluating the feasibility of setting up a new plant in Southeast Asia to cope with Apple's demand of shifting the upstream supply chain capacity to outside of China, according to industry sources.

Back in February, Tim Cook gave an interview in which he was asked about Apple's plans to move manufacturing away from China. He was asked at the height of the pandemic and stated that any changes Apple made would be "adjusting some knobs, not some sort of wholesale fundamental change."

This latest report from DigiTimes suggests that Apple seems to be pushing its supply chain partners to look at manufacturing beyond Chinese soil, with Catcher even considering selling its plants in China.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

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