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Apple suppliers face manufacturing woes in China

Rising wages and environmental initiatives in 'Little Taipei' driving up costs

Unidentified liquid and smoke are seen next to a polluted canal in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province in 2011.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Tightening environmental protection measures and growing labor costs may now pose a further headache for Apple and its suppliers in coastal cities in China at a time when global demand for smartphones is softening.

Apple has been relying on China as its main manufacturing base for its hardware, including iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, Apple Watches and the upcoming HomePods. Its major assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, known as Foxconn Technology Group, is the largest employer in the private sector in China with nearly 1 million workers.

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