Report: Apple Using More Chinese Suppliers, Fewer U.S. | NTK Network Report: Apple Using More Chinese Suppliers, Fewer U.S.

Report: Apple Using More Chinese Suppliers, Fewer U.S.

Apple now uses 27 Chinese suppliers for its products, up from 19 China-based suppliers just last year.

By NTK Staff | 03.27.2018 @12:15pm
Report: Apple Using More Chinese Suppliers, Fewer U.S.

Tech giant Apple is increasingly relying on China-based suppliers for its products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asian Review.

Apple now uses 27 Chinese suppliers, up from 19 China-based suppliers in 2017. According to Nikkei, the current number of Chinese suppliers has nearly quadrupled in the past six years. This year’s numbers also mark the largest spike in Chinese suppliers, year-to-year, since Apple began disclosing suppliers in 2012.

In all, Chinese suppliers account for 13.5 percent of total Apple suppliers, the report said. That is a four-percent increase from last year.

More than half of all Apple suppliers are headquartered in either China (27), Japan (43), or Taiwan (51). Just 39 Apple suppliers are U.S.-based, a number that has dropped in recent years.

Whether Apple is under any pressure to buy more components from Chinese makers is unclear. But China is the only country that shows a significant year-on-year growth in the number of Apple suppliers in the past few years, according to analysis by the Nikkei Asian Review. If Hong Kong-based suppliers are added to the list of those from mainland China, the total rises to 36, or 18% of the total in 2018. On the other hand, the number of U.S.-based Apple suppliers fell to 39 companies from 43 in 2017.

Companies described as “homegrown national champions” in China that appeared on its suppliers list for the first time in 2018 include: BOE Technology Group, Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology, and O-Film Technology, a firm Apple CEO Tim Cook visited late last year.

Because Apple manufactures most of its products in China, it could be susceptible to fallout from a potential trade war between the two countries. President Donald Trump recently announced he could implement tariffs on at least $30 billion of annual Chinese imports.

Still, the potential pressure that Apple and Cook are feeling from Chinese officials could be enough to keep trends going in China’s direction.

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