By a dusty stretch of India's deafening road from Chennai to Bengaluru lie three colossal, anonymous buildings. Inside, away from the din of traffic, is a high-tech facility operated by Foxconn, a Taiwanese manufacturer. A short drive away Pegatron, another Taiwanese tech firm, has erected a vast new factory of its own. Salcomp, a Finnish gadget-maker, has set one up not far away. Farther west is a 202 hectare campus run by Tata, an Indian conglomerate. What these closely guarded facilities have in common is their client: a demanding and secretive American firm known locally as "the fruit company". The mushrooming of factories in southern India marks a new chapter for the world's biggest technology company. Apple's extraordinarily successful past two decades–revenue up 70-fold, share price up 600-fold, a market value of US$2.4 trillion–is partly the result of a big bet on China. Apple banked on China-based factories, which now churn out more than 90% of its products, and wooed Chinese consumers, who in some years contributed up to a quarter of Apple's revenue. Yet economic and geopolitical shifts are forcing the company to begin a hurried decoupling. Its turn away from China marks a big shift for Apple, and… Read full this story
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