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Inside Foxconn's game plan for India

From smartphones to semiconductors, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer is eyeing India for all its expansion plans

Naini Thaker
Published: Aug 4, 2023 03:11:46 PM IST
Updated: Aug 4, 2023 03:54:13 PM IST

Inside Foxconn's game plan for IndiaFoxconn’s interest in the Indian market has been evident with the string of investments the Taiwanese company has been announcing; Image: Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Wednesday, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn reportedly signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the government of Karnataka for two projects with an estimated investment outlay of $600 million (Rs 5,000 crore), which is expected to generate 13,000 jobs. 

Best known for manufacturing Apple’s iPhones, one of the largest contract electronics manufacturing companies is looking to expand its business outside of China—and India has been right at the centre of its plans for smartphones, semiconductors, electric vehicles and more. Foxconn’s interest in the Indian market has been evident with the string of investments the Taiwanese company has been announcing. 

At Semicon 2023, which took place in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, Foxconn chairman Young Liu said: “I can feel the determination of the Indian government and I am very optimistic about where it will be headed. Prime Minister Modi once mentioned to me that ‘IT’ stands for India and Taiwan… Taiwan is and will be your most trusted and reliable partner.” 

Forbes India looks at Foxconn’s India-specific plans: 

Smartphone assembly and components 

In Karnataka, one of the projects is expected to be a facility for manufacturing subassembly components for smartphones, specifically mechanical enclosures of iPhones. The proposed investment for this project is expected to be around $350 million (Rs 3,000 crore) and it will generate 12,000 jobs, announced M B Patil, Karnataka’s minister of commerce via a tweet

On Monday, the company signed a deal with the Tamil Nadu state government to invest $194 million in a new electronic components manufacturing facility that is expected to generate 6,000 jobs, as per a Reuters news report. This will be built in the Kancheepuram district near the state capital of Chennai—a separate facility from the existing Chennai facility which assembles Apple’s iPhones. 

The report added that the company has signed a research and innovation agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and the state government's investment arm Guidance. 

Semiconductors and semiconductor tools 

For semiconductors, Foxconn had an agreement with the Vedanta group to set up a semiconductor and display production plant in India as part of a $19.5 billion joint venture. However, last month, the Taiwanese company pulled out of the JV. But even though it was goodbye to Vedanta, their interest in semiconductors in India remained intact.  

Read more: Foxconn bids adieu to Vedanta, but it's still hello India 

India has been positioning itself as a hub for semiconductors. This was evident with the attendance of some of the largest semiconductor companies including Foxconn, Applied Materials, AMD and many more at Semicon 2023, which took place in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. 

For Foxconn’s second project, the electronics manufacturing company is collaborating with US-based Applied Materials for manufacturing semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The investment for this project is expected to be around $250 million (Rs 2,000 crore) and is anticipated to create 1,000 jobs, added Patil. The location is likely to be Haraluru Muddenahalli - Hi-Tech Aerospace and Defence Park-Phase II in Bengaluru Rural district, where Foxconn has sought a 35-acre plot. 

Reportedly, Foxconn is also currently in talks with the Gujarat government over setting up a semiconductor plant in the state. 

Electric Vehicles 

Two-wheeler electric vehicles remain a focus for the company, and they continue to build on production and R&D capacity. It hopes to use the manufacturing experience of two-wheeler electric vehicles to accumulate R&D for electric four-wheelers. Currently, they have an established production in Taichung, Taiwan. “India will also assist with establishment of a production line this year to provide two-wheeled electric vehicle manufacturing services,” stated the company’s annual report

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