Apple reportedly tells suppliers to avoid 'Made in Taiwan' labels on shipments to China

Components from the island must list "Chinese Taipei” or “Taiwan, China” to comply with local rules.

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Igor Bonifacic
August 7, 2022 3:55 PM
In this article: taiwan, news, gear, politics, china, Apple, smartphone
An Apple employee wearing a face mask walks past an image of an iPhone 13 Pro at an Apple Store on the day the new Apple iPhone 13 series goes on sale, in Beijing, China, September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / reuters

Apple has reportedly warned Taiwanese suppliers to ensure shipments to China comply with a longstanding labeling regulation following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taipei. According to Nikkei (via The Guardian), the company recently told manufacturers on the island that parts bound for the mainland must list “Chinese Taipei” or “Taiwan, China” as their source. 

That’s in line with a policy China has had in place for years but only began enforcing after tensions with the US flared up following Pelosi’s visit last week. Under the policy, officials can delay and even reject shipments that say “Made in Taiwan.” The self-governing island has its own set of labeling rules. Shipments must list “Taiwan” or “Republic of China” as the point of origin.

Apple did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. The tech giant and many other American companies have a complicated relationship with China. If the report is accurate, it wouldn’t be the first time Apple has sought to appease the Chinese Communist Party. In 2019, the company removed the Taiwan flag emoji from iOS in Hong Kong amid the pro-democracy protests that occurred in the city that year. 

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In this instance, Apple may have felt it had no choice but to comply with China’s policy on Taiwanese shipments. In April, Tim Cook said semiconductor shortages significantly impacted the company’s iPad business. Ahead of its iPhone 14 launch later this year, additional delays due to a customs dispute would likely be disastrous for Apple.

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