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Trade war

Exclusive: Apple turns to China to double AirPods Pro production

US tech giant's usual suppliers take fright at missing the 'hearables' boom

AirPods Pro on display at an Apple store in Shanghai: The wireless earbuds, which offer noise cancellation, are made in China by a Chinese company, Luxshare. (Nikkei montage/Getty Images).

TAIPEI -- Apple will use a "wolflike" Chinese manufacturer to meet surging consumer demand for its AirPods Pro wireless earphones even as the California-based company has lobbied Washington for tariff relief amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

In a threat to its usual suppliers, Apple has asked little-known Luxshare-ICT to double production of AirPods Pro earphones at its Chinese facilities to 2 million units a month, sources said. Apple has also asked Luxshare and fellow Chinese company Goertek to boost production at their Vietnam-based factories of the lower-cost AirPods, the world's best-selling wireless earbuds.

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