Apple is seeking changes in India’s labor laws as part of its effort to expand local production, and “regional governments are yielding to its request as they are eager to snatch iPhone assembly from China,” according to Bloomberg.
India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, where Apple manufacturing partners operates the nation’s largest iPhone plant, is considering passing new rules that will make factory shifts more flexible, the article adds, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”
Bloomberg says executives from Apple and the “Indian Cellular and Electronics Association Lobby Group” have spent the last six months meeting with government officials to lobby for more flexible labor laws. That lobbying group includes Apple, as well as its supply chain partners Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron.
This is one of Apple’s efforts to improve conditions in India. On March 3 the tech giant announced a new effort to support improved water, sanitation, and hygiene outcomes in India. In partnership with environmental NGO Frank Water, Apple is supporting the development of an innovative, scalable approach that strengthens local water management and decision making, and expands equitable access to water quality data.
Apple also continues to work with the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) to preserve mangroves along India’s coast. Mangroves are an especially powerful nature-based solution for carbon removal, with the capacity to store up to 10 times more carbon per acre than terrestrial forests.
All this occurs as Apple looks to rev up its manufacturing, business, and retail presence in India. The tech giant is reshuffling management of its international businesses to put a bigger focus on India, according to a March 9 Bloomberg News. This shift will result in India becoming its own sales region at Apple, the report said.
The article says the tech giant is promoting its head of India Ashish Chowdhary to replace the recently retired Hugues Asseman, who was in charge of India, the Middle East, Mediterranean, East Europe and Africa, according to the report. Chowdhary will now report directly to Michael Fenger, Apple’s head of product sales, according to Bloomberg.