Apple supplier Foxconn Technology is reportedly in talks with Saudi Arabia to build a new $9bn (£6.8bn) chip-making facility.
It follows the closure of two plants yesterday in technology hub Shenzhen, China, amid a fresh lockdown as Covid-19 cases in the region spiral.
Saudi Arabia is currently reviewing the offer to build a dual-line semiconductor contract manufacturing facility, the Wall Street Journal first reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The new facility would be based in Neom, the tech-angled city-state it is developing in the desert.
While the Taiwanese chip-making heavyweight is Apple’s largest supplier, it has also dived into the electric vehicle (EV) market.
Foxconn is also in talks for another project in the United Arab Emirates, according to the report. The shift away from China is a growing trend among Taiwanese companies, including fellow semiconductor firm TSMC.
Dutch financial services giant ING said last week that it would be monitering a suspected shift in trade away from the mainland, amid militaristic tensions between Beijing and Taiwan.
Economic research analyst at GlobalData Gargi Rao told City A.M. at the time that the move could bring “untapped trade opportunities to Taiwan”, should it widen its reach.