iPhone maker Foxconn to invest $600 million into phone and chip project in India

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Foxconn logo displayed on a phone screen and Apple logo on a laptop are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on November 2, 2022.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Foxconn will invest more than $600 million in India as part of a phone manufacturing project and separately a semiconductor equipment facility, according to the government of the state of Karnataka.

In a tweet on Wednesday, M B Patil, Karnataka’s minister of commerce said the Taiwanese firm and U.S. chip firm Applied Materials pledged to invest more than $360 million into a phone casing component plant and some $240 million into a semiconductor equipment manufacturing project.

The phone project will create employment opportunities for 12,000 people, Patil said, while the semiconductor facility will generate employment for 1,000 people.

Foxconn is one of the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturers. It is best known as the main assembler of Apple’s iPhones but the company has been looking to diversify both geographically and in terms of its portfolio of products.

Foxconn’s main operations are in China, where it runs the world’s largest iPhone factory. But India, which has been pushing to bring high-tech manufacturing to the country, has been a target of Foxconn’s expansion plans.

Meanwhile, the company has ramped up efforts to set itself up as an electric car manufacturer to diversify beyond consumer electronics. Foxconn has also, with little success so far, tried to enter the semiconductor manufacturing area.

Foxconn agreed with Indian metals-to-oil conglomerate Vedanta to set up a semiconductor and display production plant in India as part of a $19.5 billion joint venture. But Foxconn pulled out of the venture last month.

Foxconn declined to comment on the investment in Karnataka when contacted by CNBC. Applied Materials was not immediately available for comment.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has looked to position itself as a hub for advanced technology, in particular semiconductors. Modi attended a semiconductor event in India last week, at which senior executives from big U.S. chip firms including Applied Materials and AMD were present. Young Liu, chairman of Foxconn, was also present as companies praised India and announced investments.

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