China’s Luxshare buys iPhone plant to strengthen Apple ties, Reports Nikkei Asian Review

TAIPEI — Luxshare Precision Industry of China is acquiring its first iPhone assembly plant, paving the way for the company to move up the Apple supply chain and challenge Taiwanese rival Foxconn, which has long dominated production of the iconic device.

Luxshare, already a key supplier of Apple’s AirPods, has agreed to buy two Chinese subsidiaries of Wistron for 3.3 billion yuan ($471.5 million). Acquiring these subsidiaries will give Luxshare control of Wistron’s key iPhone assembly plant in the Chinese city of Kushan, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned. The move comes after Luxshare’s planned acquisition of Catcher Technology, a supplier of iPhone metal frames, fell apart in early June, multiple sources told Nikkei.

“Soon after the final round of negotiations broke down between Luxshare and Catcher due to Catcher’s overly high price, the Chinese company proceeded in its talks with Wistron,” one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Luxshare had been in talks with Catcher for more than a year, but it could not reach an agreement on what would have been the company’s biggest investment.

Wistron announced it was selling the subsidiaries in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday, but did not specify what type of facilities were involved. Multiple sources confirmed to Nikkei that the purchase is of the company’s iPhone assembly plant in Kunshan. The deal is scheduled to be completed before the end of this year, pending authorities’ approval, according to the filing.

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