Apple supplier Wistron assesses damage to factories in India up to $ 7 million

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Men wearing face masks walk past smashed windows at a facility operated by Wistron Corp, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer for Apple, in Narsapura, near the southern city of Bengaluru, India, December 14, 2020. REUTERS / Stringer NO ARCHIVES. NO RESALE.

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The rampage of an iPhone manufacturing plant in India has caused up to 200 million Taiwan dollars ($ 7.12 million) in damage, although production facilities have not been as badly hit as has been reported, its Taiwan-based operator Wistron Corp said on Tuesday.

Thousands of contract workers gathered on Saturday at the Wistron site, on the outskirts of India’s tech hub of Bengaluru, to demand unpaid wages and better working hours.

When the police arrived, the crowd turned violent, and video of the scene showed people armed with rods and sticks smashing equipment and vandalizing cars. In a police report seen by Reuters, Wistron estimated the damage at $ 60 million.

However, in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the company said the main production facilities and warehouses had not suffered damage as severe as reported by local media and that it initially estimated the losses to be $ 100-200 million.

The company is doing everything possible to get the plant back up and running, she said. Wistron shares fell about 2.5% at the start of trading in Asia, underperforming the larger Taiwan stock market.

“The company has cooperated with the relevant authorities and the police investigation and continues to negotiate with the insurance company,” Wistron added, without giving further details.

Apple Inc said Monday it was investigating whether Wistron had violated vendor guidelines. Apple said it was sending staff and auditors to the site and cooperating with police with their investigation. Wistron is one of Apple’s leading global suppliers.

It has been making iPhones in India for almost four years and its operation has been seen as a success for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi looking to boost manufacturing.

(1 USD = 28.1040 Taiwan dollars)

Report by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong; Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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