Foxconn has again resumed manufacturing activity at its Chennai factory inside the Nokia Telecom SEZ, with two people aware of developments in the Taiwan-based phone manufacturer.
The unit was shut down as part of the collective shuttering of phone and component factories following Nokia’s exit from the cell phone manufacturing business in late 2014.
A top government official in Tamil Nadu said that the trial of production has started, adding that the production was part of the 2019 Global Investors Meet (GIM) MoU, he [Foxconn] promised to invest Rs 2,500 crore in TN with us did. ”
FIH Developers, part of the Foxconn Group, signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year to expand manufacturing of components that are estimated to create 20,000 jobs, according to a state government press release. Foxconn did not respond to an email seeking comment.
This development comes at a time when Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone is witnessing a strong revival. Recently acquired by Chinese firm Lingyi iTech, Salcomp has purchased a Nokia factory inside the 212-acre SEZ.
In 2014 the Nokia plant was excluded from selling the Finnish company’s mobile devices business to Microsoft. Foxconn soon shut down its unit due to a lack of business orders, leading to large-scale protests by its employees.
Later, as Chinese companies such as Oppo and Xiaomi increased smartphone sales in India, they contracted Foxconn to manufacture phones locally in their newly opened facilities at the Shree Nagar Industrial Cluster across the border in Andhra Pradesh.
The phased manufacturing program of the central government, which provided tax incentives for domestic manufacturing of mobile handsets, strengthened Foxconn’s business case for more factories in India.
“India hopes to be a catalyst in future smartphone shipments,” the report said.