Would Apple be hurt by a strike at Foxconn Brazil?

April 26, 2012

Lance Whitney – CNET, 04/26/2012

Around 2,500 workers at Foxconn’s plant in Jundiai in Sao Paulo, Brazil, could choose to strike on May 3 if management refuses to meet their demands.

Employees have been complaining of severe shortages in food and water and overcrowding on the buses used for transportation, according to the Journal de Jundia (English translation).

A director of the local union told the Journal that food has had to be sent in but that the quality is poor, and the lines to wait for a meal are long. Travel to work is also a problem for many.

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Insight: Dreaded “Brazil cost” may dim Foxconn’s iPad dreams

October 31, 2011

Luciana Lopez & Stuart Grudgings – Reuters, 10/30/2011

An Apple store employee gives a class on how to use the new iPad 2 during the China launch at an Apple Store in central Beijing May 6, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

The nondescript stretch of asphalt is an unlikely symbol of Brazil’s attempt to lift its economy into a new high-tech era.

If officials in the industrial town of Jundiai get their way, it will soon be named Steve Jobs road — in homage to the late Apple Inc co-founder and a nod to the expected windfall that producing iPads and iPhones here will bring.

Brazil’s government has loudly proclaimed a deal it says is worth $12 billion for Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn to produce iPads and build a whole new industry based around screens used in an array of consumer electronics from smartphones to televisions.

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Brazil iPad factory ready to open

October 26, 2011

Ben Tavener – Rio Times, 10/25/2011

President Rousseff's trip to China in April 2011 led to the Foxconn deal to assemble iPads in Brazil, photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho/ABr.

President Dilma Rousseff was certainly smiling after her official visit to China in April this year: in part because of a deal developing for an iPad factory. The excitement was soon palpable as technology giant Foxconn, which produces Apple’s popular tablet, announced plans to open an iPad assembly plant in Brazil, providing 100,000 direct and indirect jobs – and making Brazil the first country other than China to produce the tablet.

Soon however, concerns over the rate of taxes paid by the company in Brazil (particularly the IPI taxlevied on industrialized products), and also issues with logistics, infrastructure and a lack of skilled workers within Brazil were reportedly hampering negotiations, with some saying the deal was in trouble.

Recently Foxconn chairman Terry Gou has allayed fears after confirming that the new iPad factory in Jundiaí, São Paulo state, will be officially opened in December this year – although later than many had expected.

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Brazil’s Batista interested in Foxconn partnership

October 24, 2011

Maria Carolina Marcello – Reuters, 10/21/2011

Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, CEO of EBX Group, speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York, September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man, wants to help Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn (2354.TW) with its plans to produce Apple products such as the iPad in the country, the latest twist in a much-hyped deal that could be worth up to $12 billion.

After a meeting with President Dilma Rousseff on Friday, Batista told reporters his EBX group “loves to bring in modernity,” adding that Foxconn’s planned entry into Brazil “fits perfectly with that.”

Batista — a larger-than-life entrepreneur, with a talent for marketing — said his EBX group is still working out details of how it could work with Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple’s iPad table, as well as a slew of other products.

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Foxconn to make iPads in Brazil, eyes $12 billion plan

October 14, 2011

Hugo Bachega – Reuters, 10/13/2011

A man walks outside one of the Foxconn factory buildings with nets which are installed to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths in Langfang, Hebei Province August 3, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Taiwan’s Foxconn confirmed it will start producing iPads in Brazil in December but is still negotiating a multibillion-dollar expansion plan in the country, senior company and government officials said on Thursday.

President Dilma Rousseff first announced the Foxconn proposal to build Apple’s (AAPL.O) hot-selling tablet in Brazil during an official visit to China in April.

The lengthy negotiations reflect the country’s sometimes difficult investment climate and the Rousseff administration’s ambiguous stance between a heavy government hand and the need to attract private capital.

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Brazil’s $12 billion iPad deal is in trouble: sources

September 29, 2011

Brian Winter – Reuters, 09/29/2011

An Apple store employee gives a class on how to use the new iPad 2 during the China launch at an Apple Store in central Beijing May 6, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

A much-hyped $12 billion plan for Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to produce iPads in Brazil is “in doubt” due to stagnant negotiations over tax breaks and Brazil’s own deep structural problems such as a lack of skilled labor, government sources tell Reuters.

The proposal to build Apple’s sleek tablet computers in Brazil was first announced in April by President Dilma Rousseff during an official visit to China. Senior officials hailed the deal as a sign of growing economic ties with Asia, and proof that Brazil was moving up the value-added manufacturing chain as its economy grows.

Yet the idea for a “Brazilian iPad” prompted immediate skepticism back home, where factories have struggled for years with high taxes, an overvalued currency and a lack of qualified workers due to poor education and a tight labor market.

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Report: Apple has opened a new iPad factory in Brazil

September 14, 2011

Leslie Horn – PC Magazine, 09/14/2011

Apple has reportedly ventured out of its manufacturing stronghold in China  to open an iPad factory in Brazil.

According to a report on Brazilian site UOL uncovered by MacStories, Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology Aloizio Mercadante confirmed that the new plant is ready to start churning out Apple’s tablet, which will begin shipping in the country in December.

“At first many doubted, but it will be the first time that the [Apple] will produce iPads outside Chinese territory,” he said at a hearing with the country’s Commission of Economic Affairs. “We are taking a big step for digital inclusion in the country.”

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Official says China to invest $9B in Brazil

July 6, 2011

Associated Press/Forbes, 07/05/2011

A top Brazilian trade official says China will invest at least $9 billion in the South American nation this year. Half of it will be in the technology sector.

Alessandro Teixeira is the No. 2 official at Brazil’s Trade Ministry.

He is visiting China and told reporters there that the Asian economic giant will be investing more in Brazil’s technology sector, rather than just commodities.

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Brazil’s industrial output fell by most since 2008, surprising economists

May 31, 2011

Alexander Ragir – Bloomberg, 05/31/2011

Brazil’s industrial production fell in April by the most since 2008, surprising analysts who had expected output to expand in Latin America’s biggest economy.

Industrial production fell 2.1 percent from March, the national statistics agency said today, beating all 35 analysts in a Bloomberg survey whose median estimate for a 0.2 percent increase. Output fell 1.3 percent from a year ago.

Thirteen of 27 industries surveyed saw output shrink in April. Production of machinery fell 5.4 percent in April, reversing four consecutive months of growth, while assembly lines churned out 10.1 percent fewer white goods. Production of capital goods, a barometer of investment, fell 2.9 percent after expanding 7.7 percent in the first quarter.

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Foxconn says looking at investment opportunities in Brazil

April 13, 2011

MSNBC/Reuters, 04/13/2011

Foxconn workers walk on a footbridge outside a Foxconn factory building in the township of Longhua, in southern Guangdong province June 2, 2010. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Foxconn Technology Group, maker of Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, said it is looking at investment opportunities in Brazil in line with its strategy of “being where the market is,” a plan that would boost its presence in a fast-growing market for electronic devices.

Foxconn announced the decision in a statement on Wednesday from Taiwan-listed unit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, a day after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the company was considering investing $12 billion in Brazil.

The statement did not give specific details, noting only that Brazil had “tremendous economic development potential” and was “strategically positioned to meet the needs of growing markets throughout Latin America.”

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