Enormous new Foxconn factory in Vietnam could crank out MacBooks and iPads

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Don’t let your opinion of Vietnam be stuck decades in the past.
Vietnam will see more Apple production as it benefits from tense relations between the US and China.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Marcus Nguyen/Pexels CC

Foxconn is building a $270 million factory in Vietnam, likely in response to Apple’s desire to move some iPad and MacBook production out of China.

The plant will definitely be for laptops and tablets, and will produce up to 8 million units a year, according to Reuters.

A new Apple MacBook and iPad factory?

In November 2020, word leaked out that trade tensions between the U.S. and China caused Apple to ask Foxconn to move production of some iPadOS and macOS devices out of China. At the time, it was thought the production would move to Vietnam’s Bac Giang province.

On Monday came word that the Vietnamese government approved the construction of a Foxconn facility in Bac Giang province. So while there’s no direct evidence this plant will be for Apple products, it’s not a huge leap.

This is part of Foxconn making major investments in Vietnam. The total so far is $1.5 billion, and the total will soon rise by $700 million, according to the country’s government. It’s hiring 10,000 more workers.

Vietnam benefits from changing U.S. attitudes toward China

Outgoing President Trump took a hardline on China, and started a trade war with the enormous communist country. That left companies like Apple caught in the middle. iPhones and many other products are assembled in China.

The incoming Biden administration is signaling it won’t go easy on this trading partner/rival either. But the new President will ask other countries to join the U.S. in bringing pressure.

Hence Apple’s move to take iPad and MacBook production to Vietnam, a country the U.S. has normal relations with.