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Foxconn emerging amongst major foreign investors in India

10 August 2015

If the recent announcements by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, traded as Foxconn Technology, materialise, the Taiwanese electronics giant could emerge as one of the most aggressive foreign investors in India.

The company last month announced that it would inject $20 billion into India's solar sector along with Japan's SoftBank and telecom firm, Bharti (See: SoftBank, Foxconn, Bharti in pact for $20-bn solar power investment).

According to reports, another Foxconn joint venture with billionaire Gautam Adani's Adani Group could focus on making iPhones and iPads (Adani close to JV deal with Taiwan's Foxconn).

Reports also say Foxconn had allocated billions of dollars towards India's e-commerce and technology startups, and is said to be close to finalising a $500 million investment into online retailer, Snapdeal (Snapdeal set to raise $500 mn from SoftBank, Alibaba and Foxconn).

According to commentators, setting up manufacturing centres in India could be Foxconn's attempt to set up an alternative to its manufacturing base in China where a slowing domestic market and rising wages added up to a tough environment.

According to Foxconn, it intended to set up 10-12 plants and employ a million workers in India by 2020.

A number of smartphone makers had been planning to make the devices in the country, with Chinese maker Xiaomi expected to announce its first phone manufactured in India on Monday.

Hawei Technologies' plans to set up a manufacturing unit for network equipment in the country recently received the government's security approval.

The facility would however, need final approval from the ministry of commerce as it was a Chinese company, according to sources close to the matter, in view of a border dispute between the two countries.

Under the MOU with the state, Foxconn would build a large electronics factory in the state with an investment of $5 billion, which would create employment for at least 50,000 people, state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said following the signing of the agreement at which Foxconn CEO Terry Gou was present.

India could present an opportunity to build products like smartphones both for the booming local market as also for global customers.

Foxconn already employed over a million workers in China, where it had had set up factories across the country.

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