Apple considering producing MacBook in Thailand to expand outside China – Reports

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US technology giant Apple is conducting talks with suppliers on the possible assembly and production of components for MacBook laptops in Thailand as part of the company’s strategy to expand manufacturing outside China, Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday, citing sources.

“Ideally, Apple asked us to set up facilities in Vietnam for MacBooks, following in the footsteps of other Apple suppliers, but we offered an alternative option of building the product at our Thailand plants, which still have a massive space that can be reserved for the client,” a senior executive at one of the suppliers was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The move comes after five years of tensions between the United States and China partly due to the US imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, as well as the attempt by Apple’s main suppliers to avoid possible trade conflicts between both countries, the report said.

“As MacBook assembly will begin in Vietnam first, we could support the components from our Thailand plants, too. … It will only take two to three days of logistics and custom clearance,” the senior executive was quoted as saying in the report.

In early December, media reported that Apple had accelerated the transfer of some of its production outside of China and asked suppliers to more actively plan the assembly of its products in other Asian countries, especially in India and Vietnam. Apple was also reportedly seeking ways to reduce its dependence on Taiwanese assemblers led by Foxconn Technology Group. These moves were presumed to be a response to unrest at the iPhone factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

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