Multiple major American companies, including automobile manufacturers and tech companies, are planning to pull their business from China over multiple increased concerns regarding political intimidation, human rights violations, and more.
The Daily Caller reports that several companies are hastening their withdrawal efforts amid the country’s renewed “Zero COVID” lockdowns, which have led to mass suppression of basic freedoms and violent crackdowns on civilians, which has contributed to an overall rise in tensions with the United States and the rest of the Western world.
One such company is tech giant Apple, which is planning on shifting the bulk of its MacBook manufacturing from China to Vietnam, according to Nikkei Asia. The move could come as soon as mid-2023; if the move is completed, it would mark the first time that production of all of Apple’s major products would be located somewhere other than China, including the iPhone, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and AirPods.
Many auto manufacturers are looking to make similar moves in the near future. Mazda has recently taken steps to move its production from China to Japan. Mazda Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahiro Moro said that the primary factor in the company’s decision is the strength of the supply chain, noting that “it is no longer an era where cost is the major driving factor.”
In addition, rival companies Ford and General Motors have also announced plans to shift away from China, with a spokesman for General Motors telling the Financial Times that “most of our sourcing in China is for production in China.”
Some have drawn comparisons between the rise in production boycotts of China with similar backlash against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February, which resulted in global retaliation by private companies that subsequently refused to do business in or with Russia.
“I think that the [auto] world got surprised by Russia and Ukraine,” said Ted Cannis, a senior executive with Ford. Ever since the invasion of Ukraine, observers have kept an eye on the rising tensions between China and the island nation of Taiwan, which some say has many similarities with the dynamic between Russia and Ukraine, as the possibility of an invasion continues to loom.