Allegedly, tech titan Apple has ordered its suppliers based out of Taiwan to go along with Chinese customs relations and mark their products “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei,” in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently paying a visit to Taipei, the country’s capital city.
Reports from Nikkei Asia state that the U.S. tech giant called on its suppliers to be serious about the matter in order to try and get around any possible disruptions in all shipments of the company’s products or components.
This announcement from Apple takes place directly before the company is slated to release a new batch of products between this fall and the start of next year, which wou8ld include four iPhone 14 devices, iPads, and Apple Watches, among other products due for an update.
Agents with Chinese customs have reportedly been ordered to check any and all import declaration forms, cartons, and documents that sport the phrase “Made in Taiwan.” If found to be in violation of such rules, many suppliers could be fined up to 4,000 yuan ($592), or just have the shipment outright rejected altogether.
These customs laws have also put many suppliers who need to ship raw materials and many other parts from Taiwan to China in quite a rough spot as the island requires all of its exports to sport the words “Taiwan” or “Republic of China.”
Directly before Apple issued its warning and demand, their iPhone assembler, Pegatron, had its facilities throughout China undergo a review as of Thursday, in which officials looked over imports to see if the manufacturing origins were being mislabeled.
Nikkei Asia reported that the change in shipments cropped up just a day after one senior executive for Pegatron and other Taiwanese chip industry leaders came together with Pelosi in Taipei at the meeting hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen.
Suppliers were reportedly ordered to look over and change the labels on all forms and cartons slated for shipment from Taiwan to China.
Apple did not give a response when reached out to by Nikkei Asia.
It has been reported by Insider Paper that GreatFire, a group that works to stand against online censorship from China, stated that this move takes place after Apple took down the Taiwan flag from the emoji keyboards from its users in China and Hong Kong.
“Is it a question of time before Apple starts removing apps whose name contains the characters [for] Taiwan without specifying ‘province of China?” questioned GreatFire.
“Unfortunately, we suspect that Apple’s ‘red-line,’ the moment where it will say: ‘Stop, no longer, we cannot continue to collaborate with the Chinese regime and enforce its requests for censorship,’ is nowhere close,” stated Benjamin Ismail from GreatFire to Register.
Officials in Beijing have labeled Taiwan as part of its territory and been against any and all diplomatic visits to the isalnd.