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Foxconn plans to apply separately for chip manufacturing incentives; pledges commitment to India

The comment assumes significance as Foxconn has pulled out from the $19.5 billion semiconductor JV with Vedanta.

Foxconn plans to apply separately for chip manufacturing incentives; pledges commitment to India

Tuesday July 11, 2023 , 4 min Read

A day after announcing withdrawal from its chip-making JV with Indian conglomerate Vedanta, Foxconn on Tuesday said it is working on plans to apply for incentives under semiconductor and display fab programme, as the contract manufacturer pledged its commitment to India.

The Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant said it has been actively reviewing landscape for optimal partners. The comment assumes significance as Foxconn has pulled out from the $19.5 billion semiconductor JV with Vedanta.

"We welcome a diverse set of stakeholders, both inside India and abroad, who also want to see India get to the next level and can complement Foxconn's world-class supply chain management and manufacturing efficiency," Foxconn said in a statement on Tuesday.

Pledging its commitment to India, Foxconn said it "is working toward submitting an application related to Modified Programme for Semiconductors and Display Fab Ecosystem."

Foxconn said it sees the country successfully establishing a robust semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem. "It will take time. Foxconn first entered India in 2006 and we are still here. The group looks forward to growing alongside India's nascent semiconductor industry," it said.

"Foxconn has sound channels of communications with government stakeholders across India, and we have been consistent and clear with them at all levels about our continued commitment to invest in India," it said.

On its decision to pull out of the JV with Vedanta, Foxconn said both parties mutually agreed to part ways. "This is not a negative. There was recognition from both sides that the project was not moving fast enough, there were challenging gaps we were not able to smoothly overcome, as well as external issues related to the project," it said.

On reports citing the withdrawal as a negative example of the group's investment integrity, Foxconn asserted "that is absolutely not the case." "When Foxconn course corrects, it is done only after heavy considerations on the near term impact to our stakeholders, and on the long term corporate health to the group and our shareholders."

"Building fabs from scratch in a new geography is a challenge, but Foxconn is committed to invest in India," it said. Foxconn said it has been working on challenges like this since 1980s. "Foxconn has no intention to do anything but continue to strongly support Government's Make in India ambitions and establish a diversity of local partnerships that meet the needs of stakeholders," the company said.

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On whether Foxconn has to write down losses related to the JV with Vedanta, Foxconn said it has not injected capital or fixed assets into the JV. "We understand there is a lot of interest in Foxconn's plans and India's information ecosystem is porous. However, due to competitive and sensitive issues involved in negotiating large scale investments, Foxconn is unable to disclose more information at this time," it added.

It is pertinent to mention that the Vedanta Foxconn JV had announced setting up of India's first electronic chip manufacturing unit in Gujarat.

Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw had on Monday evening said both Foxconn and Vedanta are committed to the semiconductor mission and the Make-in-India programme of the country.

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar had said that Foxconn's decision to pull out of Vedanta joint venture has no impact on India's semiconductor fabrication plant goal as both the companies had no prior semiconductor experience or technology and were expected to source fabrication tech from a tech partner.

He said that Vedanta through the JV has recently submitted a 40 nm fab proposal backed by a technology licensing agreement from a Global Semicon major - which is currently being evaluated by the government's Semicon India Tech Advisory group.