Following Foxconn’s recent US$300 million investment in Northern Vietnam, Apple and Google who source from the Taiwanese manufacturer make their next move to shift smartphone production to the country.

Apple and Google supplier Foxconn has signed an MOU with developer Kinh Bac City to expand their facility in Northern Vietnam. The Taiwanese manufacturer’s new factory will span 50.5 hectares in Bac Giang province, expecting to create 30,000 local jobs.

In 2021 alone, Foxconn invested US$1.5 billion in Vietnam, and Taiwan’s Compal Electronics, which also supplies Google, has also been expanding production in the country since 2021.

This shift comes in part due to tight and persistent pandemic restrictions in China resulting in companies seeking more stable supply chains.

Foxconn will be starting test production of the Apple Watch in Vietnam, and has already allocated some iPad and AirPod production to Bac Giang’s Quang Chau Industrial Park. iPad assembler BYD also worked with Apple in June to build production lines in the country to prepare to commence small batch production.

Google, who primarily manufactures their Pixel 6 smartphone in China, also announced they would be moving some production to Vietnam in 2023 “to avoid the risks from the ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions and China’s Covid-19 lockdowns.” Foxconn and Compal Electronics’ Vietnamese factories are also equipped to begin smartphone production at the company’s notice.

In 2019, Google had already been working on transforming an old Nokia factory in Northern Vietnam to facilitate Pixel production and the following year, test phones were produced in Vinh Phuc Province.

Chinese companies have also been making moves to secure production outside of the country, Xiaomi having announced in May this year that they would be releasing their first Vietnam-made smartphones.

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