Foxconn, the biggest assembler of Apple iPhones, is in talks with Saudi Arabia about jointly building a $9 billion multipurpose facility that could make microchips, electric-vehicle components, and other electronics like displays, The Wall Street Journal reports citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Stephen Kalin and Summer Said for The Wall Street Journal:
The Saudi government is reviewing an offer from the company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. , to build a dual-line foundry for surface-mount technology and wafer fabrication in Neom, a tech-focused city-state the kingdom is developing in the desert, the people said. Discussions over the project started last year, they said.
The Saudis are conducting due diligence and benchmarking the offer against others that Foxconn has made for similar projects globally, one of the people said.
Besides Saudi Arabia, Foxconn is also talking with the United Arab Emirates about potentially siting the project there, one of the people said.
The Taiwan-based company has looked to diversify its manufacturing sites amid rising tensions between China and the U.S. that put it in a potentially vulnerable spot… Foxconn is seeking large incentives including financing, tax holidays and subsidies for power and water in exchange for helping set up a high-tech manufacturing sector in the kingdom, the people said, as Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify its economy away from oil.