Apple has instructed its suppliers in Taiwan to ensure they are scrupulously compliant with China Customs’ country of origin labeling requirements. The background to this is the visit by the Chair of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, which caused considerable resentment in China. Apple now fears that China may hamper production of the next iPhone to give the US and Taiwan a lesson, media reports said.
As reported by Nikkei Asia, Apple worried about trade barriers. Components from suppliers in Taiwan have never been allowed to be labeled “Made in Taiwan”. China sees the island nation as a breakaway province that it wants to reintegrate as part of its One China policy. But now the Chinese authorities are apparently looking particularly closely. Only “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese-Tapei” would be accepted as designations of origin. The German economy also fears the effects of the smoldering conflict.
Apple’s appeal follows media reports that required components have been held up by customs. According to Nikkei Asia, there was also a risk of fines or the return of parts. Contract manufacturer Pegatron has denied reports that its components were affected by the border stop. The company from Taiwan told the Reuters news agencythat the factory in China is working normally. Production has not been stopped and there have been no delivery problems.
China and Taiwan occupy the top two places in Apple’s list of suppliers. In 2020, China was at the top with a total of 51 companies that have their headquarters or factories there. Apple has been concerned with a possible worsening of the geopolitical situation since spring.