Wistron to Exit India After 15 Years of Operations, Tata Electronics to Take Over Factory
Wistron's Controversies Lead to Withdrawal from India, Tata Group Poised to Acquire Factory
5 May 2023
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron is ending its operations in India after 15 years in the country.
Wistron is expected to maintain its services businesses for repairing and maintaining Apple products in India.
Tata Group is reportedly set to acquire Wistron’s Karnataka factory, which employs over 12,000 people.
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron is ending its operations in India after 15 years in the country. However, Wistron is likely to maintain its services businesses for repairing and maintaining Apple products in India. The company is expected to approach the National Company Law Tribunal and the Registrar of Companies to dissolve its India operations within the next year. Wistron will wind up operations in India after Tata Electronics takes over operations of the Karnataka factory and starts manufacturing new Apple products.
Wistron established its first India subsidiary in 2008 as a sales and maintenance service center. In 2017, it began making iPhones in the country. Wistron, along with Foxconn, is among the top 10 electronics manufacturing services players in India. Their growth is mostly fueled by rising Apple product exports. In 2022, shipments of Apple’s made-in-India iPhones grew 162% year-on-year by value.
In recent years, Wistron has had some controversies. For instance, in 2020, its 2.2 million square foot factory near Bengaluru witnessed violent unrest among workers. A government probe revealed that the management had followed several malpractices. Apple has paused business with the company following the row before reviving operations.
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The Tata Group is reportedly set to acquire Wistron’s Karnataka factory, which employs over 12,000 people. It could value Wistron’s facility at more than $600 million, according to a Bloomberg report in January. In recent months, the Tatas have taken several steps to increase its business with Apple. The group has accelerated hiring at its own factory in Hosur, near Bengaluru, where it produces iPhone components. It has also announced its plan to launch 100 exclusive Apple stores in India.
Apple has been trying to reduce manufacturing dependence on China and move to India since its biggest contract manufacturer and partner Foxconn witnessed unrest in China at the Zhengzhou manufacturing plant last year. Apple also started a new love story with India by opening two official Apple Stores in the country. The tech giant has been trying to expand its presence in India, where it has an estimated market share of 5.5%.
Wistron’s decision to end its operations in India has come at a time when Apple is increasing local manufacturing in the country. However, the company has faced several challenges in India, including a lack of local suppliers and weak infrastructure. With Tata Electronics taking over Wistron’s operations, India could get its first homegrown iPhone maker.