China currently has more Apple suppliers than any other country, indicating that Washington’s efforts to disentangle the US and Chinese supply chains have had little effect on the world’s most valuable technology firm.
According to a Nikkei Asia survey of Apple’s top 200 suppliers in 2020, 51 were headquartered in China, including Hong Kong, up from 42 in 2018 and knocking Taiwan off the top rank for the first time. Apple does not provide statistics for the year 2019.
As part of Apple’s goal to diversify its supply chain, Chinese vendors have also assisted the business in expanding production capacity in other Asian nations. Apple is recognized for its stringent quality controls, and the emergence of Chinese suppliers reflects the country’s expanding manufacturing and technology skills, as well as its low pricing.
The Apple Supplier List includes 98 percent of the company’s previous fiscal year’s materials, production, and assembly costs. The report serves as a barometer of Apple’s reliance on suppliers from all around the world, even if it does not publish purchase figures for each firm. Since 2013, the report has been produced practically every year.
The majority of Apple-certified manufacturers in Vietnam are located in the country’s north, which is becoming a hotbed for consumer electronics. Apple’s Chinese suppliers have risen at the cost of the company’s other suppliers.
From 43 in 2017 to 38 in 2018, the number of Japanese suppliers has decreased to 34. Sharp and Kantatsu compete against Luxshare and Cowell in camera modules, while Japan Display and Sharp, which remain on the list, face competition from Chinese display producers BOE Technology Group and Tianma Microelectronics.
Taiwan, which has topped the list for more than a decade, is losing ground as well. The island’s 48 Apple suppliers in 2020 made it the third-largest group behind China and Hong Kong, although that’s down from 52 in 2017. In 2018, the figure was 47.