Apple weighs manufacturing in Indonesia amid diversification drive

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook visits Indonesia where the U.S. tech giant is considering possible investment. PHOTO: DIMAS ARDIAN/BLOOMBERG NEWS
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook visits Indonesia where the U.S. tech giant is considering possible investment. PHOTO: DIMAS ARDIAN/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Summary

Apple will consider making some of its products in Indonesia, Chief Executive Tim Cook said, coming on the heels of a plan by the U.S. tech giant to ramp up investment in neighboring Vietnam.

Apple will consider making some of its products in Indonesia, Chief Executive Tim Cook said, coming on the heels of a plan by the U.S. tech giant to ramp up investment in neighboring Vietnam.

Cook said after a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Wednesday that the two men discussed possible investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, among other matters.

“We talked about the president’s desire to see manufacturing in the country, and it’s something that we will look at," he said at a press conference, according to state news agency Antara. “I think the investment ability in Indonesia is endless."

Cook didn’t offer a timeline for investment or say what form it could take. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cupertino, California-based Apple doesn’t currently have a manufacturing base in Indonesia, a country of more than 270 million people where its iPhones and computers have a strong following. The company has invested in several developer training centers in the country since 2018, including one in Bali announced this week.

Most of Apple’s assembly is done in China, but the company has sought to diversify its supply chain in recent years amid rising U.S.-China tensions and global concerns of decoupling trade.

In December, Apple said it would raise iPhone production in India, a move that could boost the South Asian nation’s share to a quarter of global production in the coming years. Earlier this week, during a visit by Cook to Vietnam, Apple announced plans to boost spending on suppliers in the country. Apple has spent nearly $16 billion on its supply chain in Vietnam since 2019, according to the company.

Cook’s visit to Indonesia comes as officials court other U.S. tech luminaries in efforts to create a bigger role for the country in global technology supply chains.

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella could visit Indonesia at the end of April, Minister of Communications and Informatics Budi Arie Setiadi said at the press conference Wednesday. Setiadi added that the government is also seeking a visit by Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang.

A Microsoft spokesperson said more details about Nadella’s visit would likely be released Thursday.

Write to Kimberley Kao at kimberley.kao@wsj.com and Ben Otto at ben.otto@wsj.com

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