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Apple warns suppliers over controversial China rules on Taiwan labels following Pelosi visit

iPhone box
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has reportedly told its suppliers in Taiwan to ensure they follow strict yet controversial Chinese customs regulations after it emerged that at least one of its suppliers may have had components held up in customs following Nancy Pelosi's visit to the country this week. 

Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab) reports that Apple "has asked suppliers to ensure that shipments from Taiwan to China strictly comply with Chinese customs regulations after a recent visit by senior U.S. lawmaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei stoked fears of rising trade barriers." 

According to the report, the company told suppliers Friday that China "has started strictly enforcing a long-standing rule that Taiwanese-made parts and components must be labeled as being made either in "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei." Any labeling such as "Made in Taiwan" or other words could cause big hold-ups or fines, or even see shipments sent back. 

Retaliation

Early Friday it was reported that iPhone manufacturer Pegatron had seen components held by customs officials over the issue following Nancy Pelosi's diplomatic visit to the island this week. Pelosi met with execs from the company and other chipmakers including TSMC, which supplies all of Apple's best iPhones with their A-series processors including the A16 for the upcoming iPhone 14

Nikkei reports that "Apple has also told suppliers to form contingency plans or quickly review and amend their labels on cartons and forms for shipments from Taiwan to China, if necessary" to avoid "any shipping chaos" and further supply chain disruptions. 

It was unclear from the earlier report if Apple was affected by the events, however, it is now certain that Apple is at least worried about the possible impact on its supply chain ahead of iPhone 14. 

Pegatron today denied that its components had been held by Chinese customs officials. China views Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory and has gone to great lengths to express its displeasure over the visit of Speaker Pelosi this week. The country is also conducting military exercises and has reportedly fired missiles over the island. 

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

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.