Tata Group was reportedly in talks with Wistron since 2022 for the transaction
Wistron was struggling since the 2020 violence broke out over wage and pay gaps
Wistron exiting Apple business can be attributed to the failure of the manufacturer to get deeper into the supply chain of the tech giant
When Apple is pushing its production and market reach in India, one of its significant vendors, Wistron, is winding up its business in the country. Further reportedly, Wistron is selling its Bengaluru plant to the Tata Group.
In 2022, Tata Group was in talks with the vendor about this transaction. According to an Economic Times report, Wistron was the first vendor of Apple to have started manufacturing in India, in 2017. But this fate of the Taiwanese manufacturer can be attributed to its inability to get deeper into the supply chain of the tech giant.
The exit is happening at a time when Apple is reported to have tripled iPhone manufacturing in India and Wistron’s competitors including Foxconn and Salcomp have injected more investment to boost production.
Wistron has been facing several challenges at the Bengaluru unit since violence broke out over pay gaps and delays, in 2020. Interestingly, the manufacturer admitted the flaws in the system, and lost new contracts from Apple. Citing the incident, back then, Apple announced that Wistron would not receive fresh orders until the matter is addressed.
It further said, “Apple employees, along with independent auditors, will monitor their progress. Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly,” the company said in a statement.
On the other hand, CEO Tim Cook has been very particular about the Indian market for some time. He stated that he is bullish on the country.
Recently, he launched two standalone Apple stores in India and had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about increasing the production in the country. In fact, the government has also been encouraging the tech giant to increase production in alignment with the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
The two competitors of Wistron, Salcomp and Foxconn, on the other hand have bolstered their position in Apple’s Indian ecosystem. Recently, Telangana’s IT Minister KT Rama Rao took to Twitter to say that Foxconn is going to invest about $500 Mn to construct a manufacturing facility in Telangana’s Kongar Kalaan.
In February this year, Salcomp was reported to have been planning to double the Indian workforce to 25,000 by 2026 as it ramps up operations in the country.