How China Built ‘iPhone City’ With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partner
The improbability of moving iPhone production from China to the US.
Aside from the political ramifications of this story, this is an excellent look at how an iPhone is built from start to delivery to your local Apple Store.
DAVID BARBOZA, Writing for the New York Times
ZHENGZHOU, China — A vast, boxy customs center acts as a busy island of commerce deep in central China.
Government officers, in sharply pressed uniforms, race around a maze of wooden pallets piled high with boxes — counting, weighing, scanning and approving shipments. Unmarked trucks stretch for more than a mile awaiting the next load headed for Beijing, New York, London and dozens of other destinations.
The state-of-the-art facility was built several years ago to serve a single global exporter: Apple, now the world’s most valuable company and one of China’s largest retailers.
The well-choreographed customs routine is part of a hidden bounty of perks, tax breaks and subsidies in China that supports the world’s biggest iPhone factory, according to confidential government records reviewed by The New York Times, as well as more than 100 interviews with factory workers, logistics handlers, truck drivers, tax specialists and current and former Apple executives. The package of sweeteners and incentives, worth billions of dollars, is central to the production of the iPhone, Apple’s best-selling and most profitable product.
It all centers on Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China. Running at full tilt, the factory here, owned and operated by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn, can produce 500,000 iPhones a day. Locals now refer to Zhengzhou as “iPhone City.”
I’m sure the folks at Apple are having some sleepless nights over President-elect Trump’s position on American products built overseas and sold back in the US. It could upset the apple the cart..
A growing backlash against globalization puts Apple and other big multinationals directly in the sightlines of two increasingly combative giants: the United States and China.
President-elect Donald J. Trump has vowed to bring down the full force of the government on American companies that move jobs overseas, threatening punitive tariffs on the goods they sell back at home. Apple has been a frequent target of Mr. Trump, who said during the campaign that he would get the technology company to “build their damn computers and things in this country.”
This is how an iPhone gets from the factory floor to the retail store.
David Barboza, Writing for the New York Times
About half of all iPhones now are made in a huge manufacturing facility in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. This is the story of how an iPhone made there can end up in your hands.