Is Foxconn Going to Manufacture in the U.S.?

9 Dec

On Wednesday Foxconn said in a statement, “We can confirm that we are in preliminary discussions regarding a potential investment that would represent an expansion of our current U.S. operations.”

Foxconn’s core business is electronics assembly, and Apple is its No. 1 customer. During his campaign, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump vowed that as president he would force Apple to boost its manufacturing in the U.S.

Most Apple products are assembled in China by Foxconn. Foxconn and another two other contractors, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp., assemble iPhones across six factories in China, as well as one in Brazil.

It is uncertain Foxconn expansion in the U.S. would be to make Apple products. Foxconn has been investing in diverse high-tech sectors including robotics, e-commerce, consumer-tech startups and health care.

Foxconn’s statement came a day after Japan’s SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son met with Trump in New York and pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. That money will be coming from a $100 billion investment fund that Mr. Son began setting up earlier this year with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund and other potential partners.

Foxconn’s logo appeared beside SoftBank’s on the piece of paper that Son held while speaking to reporters after his meeting with Trump. It wasn’t clear how Foxconn might be involved in Son’s plans.

Son and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou are longtime friends. SoftBank and Foxconn have collaborated on several investments, including on a joint venture last year with Alibaba to sell the Japanese company’s Pepper Robot.