Foxconn Technology Group, the biggest assembler of Apple Inc. devices, is in preliminary discussions to make an investment that would expand the company’s U.S. operations.
The disclosure came hours after an announcement by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and SoftBank Group Corp.’s Masayoshi Son to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs. SoftBank owns Sprint and also makes the emotional intelligent robot Pepper.
The money will come from SoftBank’s $100 billion technology fund, which was announced in October, a person familiar with the matter said. A document that Son held up after the meeting in Trump Tower also included the words “Foxconn,” “$7 billion” and “50,000 new jobs” in addition to SoftBank’s numbers.
“While the scope of the potential investment has not been determined, we will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant U.S. officials,” Foxconn said in a statement. “Those plans would be made based on mutually-agreed terms.”
Foxconn gave no further details. The Taiwan-based manufacturer assembles iPhones, iPads and other Apple hardware outside the U.S., in addition to computers and appliances for other global brands. Trump has publicly called for Apple to move production back to the U.S. to create jobs. Most of Foxconn’s assembly force is currently in China.
“Moving manufacturing is difficult and complicated,” said Bill Tsai, an analyst at Mega International Investment Services Corp., citing the need to find labor and build a supply chain. “Politics is temporary, business is permanent.”