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Luxshare founder Grace Wang, center, and Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company's Kunshan factory near Shanghai in December   © Apple

Apple's Chinese suppliers catapult to a new level

Luxshare, hailed by Cook, is among the winners

CHENG TING-FANG and DEBBY WU, Nikkei staff writers | China

TAIPEI -- In early December, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook toured a Shanghai factory owned by Luxshare ICT, a Chinese company that has risen from obscurity in the last decade to become a key supplier to the U.S. tech giant. Reflecting later on what he saw, Cook praised Luxshare founder Grace Wang, who started out as a factory worker on a Foxconn production line and ended up the leader of a tech company with more than 20 locations around the world. "This is an extraordinary example of a Chinese dream being realized," Cook said.

Besides being an example of the Chinese dream, Luxshare is also a great demonstration of just how transformative a contract with Apple can be. The company began supplying connector cables for the iMac in 2009, five years after Luxshare was founded in Shenzhen. Since then, it has grown into a tech component empire, supplying cables, connectors, wireless chargers and the new wireless earbuds. This success has been amply rewarded by investors: Its shares in Shenzhen have surged more than 530% over the past five years, and more than 70% so far this year. If its growth continues, Luxshare could rival Taiwanese powerhouses Foxconn -- also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry -- Pegatron, Quanta Computer and Inventec as an assembler.

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