Will the pain touch Apple? Color me cautiously skeptical.
From Digitimes’ US-China trade rift hitting 2H18 Taiwan electronics shipments:
With deep presence in the global electronics and tech supply chains, Taiwan businesses are beginning to feel the pinch of mounting trade tensions between the US and China that are posing new variables to their shipments in the traditional high season in the second half of 2018. And China enforcing rigid environmental protection measures is further dimming business prospects for supply chain players, particularly those of Apple’s…
Industry watchers said that once the US-China trade rifts evolve into irrational retaliations against each other, those Taiwan businesses with large customer bases in both countries will suffer most from the ensuing unfavorable impacts. For Apple products, for instance, the US and China are their largest sales markets, and therefore both Apple and its supply chain partners would suffer seriously if China exercises its security screening mechanism to defer shipment schedules for Apple products or if the US imposes heavy import tariffs on Apple devices assembled in China.”
On another front, China aggressively enforcing strict environmental protection policies is adding operation pressure to Taiwan manufacturing plants there. As a supply chain partner of Apple, for instance, Taiwan-based flexible PC maker Career Technology has seen part of its production lines in Suzhou, Jiangsu province suspended following recent inspections by environmental authorities there. This has in turn affected the shipment of Career’s upstream partner Matrix Test Lab.
My take: Early days yet. As friend-of-the-blog David Thall, wrote last week, “Chinese leadership may be a lot of things, but they are not stupid.”