Apple has already found itself impacted by a diplomatic row between the US and China, and now faces the prospect of being caught up in politics between China and Taiwan. A Chinese investigation of Foxconn has been announced by state media.
Apple is massively dependent on Foxconn, with a single plant in China estimated to be responsible for as much as 80% of global iPhone production …
A quick background: China versus Taiwan
The Chinese government views the island as a territory of its own country. Taiwan, in turn, still technically claims control of mainland China as the exiled legitimate government, but makes no practical moves to exert power, being content to view itself as an independent nation.
Taiwan has its own constitution, elections, passport, currency, and armed forces.
However, China refuses diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes Taiwan’s independence, so most Western countries play an uneasy game of pretending not to, by having “representative offices” on the island – which are embassies in all but name.
The past couple of years have seen increasing concern over the possibility of China invading Taiwan.
China investigates Foxconn
Arstechnica cites Chinese state media announcing investigations into Foxconn.
China has launched an investigation into Apple iPhone-maker Foxconn over tax and land use, Chinese state media reported […]
The Global Times, citing anonymous sources, said tax authorities inspected Foxconn’s sites in the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu, and natural resources officials had inspected sites in Henan and Hubei.
Notably, the provinces named include Henan, which contains the city of Zhengzhou, aka iPhone City.
Likely intended as political intimidation
The nature of the alleged offences is unclear, but one element of the report does appear to…