Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn has bought 300 acres of land near the Bengaluru airport, the company said in a filing with the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday as it looks to diversify production away from China.
Its subsidiary Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development is paying Rs 300 crore ($37 million) for the huge tract of land located in Devanahalli on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
Foxconn is the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer and a main assembler of Apple iPhones.
Both companies are seeking to move away from China and create alternative supply chains as the Communist giant stands alienated due to its military muscle flexing in the South China Sea and dubious role in the spread of Covid-19 pandemic that destroyed lives and livelihoods across the world.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai said in March that Apple would “soon” manufacture iPhones at a new plant in the state, creating “about 100,000 jobs”.
Bloomberg News reported that month that Foxconn was planning to invest $700 million in a new factory in Karnataka the same month.
Foxconn chairman Young Liu visited the state then to “deepen partnerships… and seek cooperation in new areas such as semiconductor development and electric vehicles”, he said in a statement.
He also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said the pair’s “discussions covered various topics aimed at enhancing India’s tech and innovation eco-system”.
Foxconn has been manufacturing Apple smartphones in India since 2019 at its plant in Tamil Nadu.
Two other Taiwanese suppliers, Wistron and Pegatron, also manufacture and assemble Apple devices in India.
Apple has been making its own push into India and chief executive Tim Cook himself visited the country last month to its first two retail stores in Mumbai and Delhi.
Apple said last September it would manufacture its latest iPhone 14 in India, just weeks after launching the flagship model. India currently accounts for seven percent of Apple’s iPhone production. The US tech giant is keen to expand its footprint in the fast-growing Indian market.
More electronics manufacturing companies are setting up base in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Modi has given a big push to his “Make in India” strategy. The productivity linked incentive (PLI) scheme launched as part of this plan is proving to be a major attraction for electronics manufacturers.