Foxconn assembles most of its products in mainland China but many of its gadgets are sold in the United States, leaving it vulnerable to market fallout from the ongoing US-China trade war. Until now, the majority of the production was conducted in China.
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou says India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited the expansion. It was reported earlier this month that Foxconn will start trials of producing iPhone X and iPhone 7 in India before launching a full-scale assembly in its factory in Chennai. As the USA and China engage in a trade battle, it might be helpful for Apple and Foxconn to find a third market to focus on.
It's not yet clear how Apple's steps into India will affect its China operations.
Terry Gou, speaking on the sidelines of an event in Taipei, said that while he planned to step down as chairman, he hoped to remain involved in strategic decisions regarding the company's business. But this move could benefit both Foxconn and Apple.
The Taiwanese contract manufacturer, the biggest maker of iPhones, will initially invest about US$300 million to set up for Apple with investments to ramp up as capacity expands, they said.
Gou also said he plans to write a book to pass on the lessons of his 45 years of management experience.
When asked about his retirement plan at a shareholder meeting a year ago, Gou said he would not step down until the company's share price hit Tw$200 (USD 6.49). "If our customer wants to boost its scale, it will need to depend on us to grow the comprehensive supply chain".
Indians bought more than 140 million smartphones previous year, with just 1.7 million sold by Apple, as consumers favored cheaper models from China.