According to a new report from Chinese news outlet the Economic Daily News, Apple is “aggressively” working to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. The company has been working with Foxconn on the efforts, the report explains, further strengthening the partnership between the two parties.
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Specifically, Apple is expected to begin constructing two new research and development centers in 2017. One is said to be located in Indonesia, while the other is destined for Shenzhen, China, Apple announced in October.
For what it’s worth, Foxconn currently has a presence in Indonesia, working with local vendor Luna as well as Huawei in the country. Foxconn wouldn’t, however, comment on today’s report.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Apple’s plans in Indonesia. Last month, it was reported that the company was planning research and development centers in the country. The report claimed that Apple would announce the plans in December and begin construction and recruitment during 2017.
Likewise, Reuters reported earlier this month that Apple was investing $44 million over three years in an R&D center in India.
There has been speculation that Apple’s establishment of a center is a quid pro quo for a license allowing the company to sell LTE products in Indonesia. Indonesia is similar to India in that in order to establish a retail store in the country, companies must have some sort of manufacturing or research facilities there as well.
The Shenzhen R&D center will allow for Apple’s engineering team to work “even more closely and collaboratively” with manufacturing partners, it said.
What’s arguably most notable about today’s report is that Apple is further deepening its ties with Foxconn for its Shenzhen and Indonesian expansion. A strong relationship with Foxconn means Apple will have the capability of expanding throughout the world at a faster pace. Earlier this month, it was reported that Foxconn had been discussing a potential expansion to the United States, believed to be worth $7 billion and 50,000 jobs.
A move to the United States by Foxconn, given its relationship with Apple, would be huge news for the iPhone maker. At this point, however, it’s Foxconn’s ever-growing relationship with Apple that will be interesting to watch.