Apple ‘Battling’ to Free Up iPhone Shipments as India Holds Up Imports From China

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Apple is “battling to free stuck shipments” at the Indian port of Chennai after the country ramped up scrutiny of imports from China following rising tensions between the two nations.


Reuters reports that customs officers at the Southern Indian port have held back more than 150 shipments of smartphones and electronic parts from China, which has disrupted operations at plants owned by Apple supplier Foxconn.

While several companies such as Apple and Dell have been battling to free stuck shipments, hundreds of employees at Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn’s two plants in the south had no major work to do this week as shipments were delayed, sources said.

Some of the shipments are being slowly cleared, according to Reuters‘ sources, but the hold-up has reportedly left Foxconn in a “very bad state,” resulting in many workers staying at their dormitories because of a lack of work.

The additional checks, which were apparently imposed without any formal order, follow deadly clashes between Chinese and Indian soldiers at the disputed Himalayan border last month, which has led to boycotts and demonstrations.

With concern mounting that the shipping delays are impacting businesses that have already been disrupted by the global health crisis, prominent U.S.-India lobby groups and local industry bodies have urged the Indian government to intervene. Indian government officials said the additional clearance measures for shipments from China would be temporary.

China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped India would “correct its discriminatory actions against Chinese companies immediately,” after India banned some Chinese mobile apps amid the border crisis.

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