Apple is calling on the Taiwanese suppliers of its products to label anything marked “made in Taiwan” as “made in China.”
While on the face of things, Apple’s quest for its Taiwanese electronic parts suppliers may seem sinister, the reason for the request is much more mundane. Documents, declaration forms, or even packaging labeled as “made in Taiwan” could be held and delayed by Chinese customs.
The request from the iPhone company came from on high after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan disrupted trade between the island nation and the mainland.
Nikkei reports that Apple told suppliers on Friday that China is now enforcing its rule that all Taiwanese products be labeled as “Taiwan, China,” or “Chinese Taipei.” The moniker is used by the Chinese communist government to indicate China’s ownership of Taiwan, in contradiction to its ambitions of sovereignty.
As detailed by the publication, Apple responded to the Chinese enforcement of the law with urgency, due to immediate concerns that any kind of delays from the island could severely impact the release of the upcoming iPhone 14, which will release this fall.
“Penalties for violating such a rule is a fine of up to 4,000 yuan ($592) or, in the worst-case scenario, the shipment being rejected,” said a source close to the matter.
Taiwan also requires for all of its international exports to carry the words “Taiwan” or “Republic of China,” to indicate its point of origin. This also applies to products and parts being sent from Taiwan to China.
The Chinese government in Beijing does not recognize Taiwan’s independence and views the island as part of its territory.