Taiwan's Foxconn to set up a dozen facilities in India

Taiwan's Foxconn Technology, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, plans to develop 10-12 facilities in India, which would include factories and data-centres, by 2020, according to chairman Terry Gou.

Gou said the company could spend a "few billion dollars" on development of the facilities. Gou's listed flagship unit is Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is the largest maker of Apple iPhones.

Gou said in an interview on the outskirts of Guiyang in China's southern Guizhou province, where the company already operated a manufacturing plant and data centre that a lot of its customers, especially Chinese customers, needed the company to manufacture  in India, and to make phones, tablets, TVs, as soon as possible.

With the announcement, Foxconn becomes the latest tech powerhouse to announce India plans after smartphone company Xiaomi Inc, which in March announced plans to start manufacturing in India (See: Xiaomi bolsters India plans with strategic investment by Ratan Tata).

The company's move comes as it grapples with rising expenses at its 25 manufacturing sites in China, where wages had more than doubled since 2010.

The company's expansion plans come after it closed a mobile phone plant in southern India, which led to protests from some of the workforce of about 1,700 people.

The company did not offer any reasons for the closure beyond citing changes in its customer base.

Recently Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had traveled to China to visit Foxconn Zhengzhou plant, and meet with Gou.

Fadnavis said at the time, the technology and development level of Foxconn was the key element of ''Make in India'' thrust of the Modi government's economic policy aimed at making manufacturing, a driving force of India's economic development.

According to analysts, in addition to securing orders from Apple, setting up factories in India could bring a better understanding of the local Indian consumers and market conditions, and would benefit both Foxconn and Apple.