Apple Releases the 2020 Top 200 Supplier List with 6 Newcomers from Taiwan and 12 from China

Apple Inc. has published its 2021 Supplier Responsibility Report and its top 200 suppliers in 2020. The list includes six newcomers from Taiwan (i.e., Auras, Concraft, GIS, Global Lighting Technologies, LOTES, and TXC), with another six being excluded (i.e., Cheng Loong, FuYang Technology, Jan Jia Optoelectronics, Darfon Electronics, Merry Electronics, and Intramedia). By contrast, the list adds 12 Chinese entrants, indicating that Apple has been subtly changing its supply chain portfolio.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the beginning of the report, “Apple is a technology company, but we never forget that the devices we make are imagined by human minds, built by human hands, and are meant to improve human lives.”

The report then continues with a letter from Sabih Khan, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations, specifying that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide in 2020, “our teams conducted 1,121 supplier assessments in 53 countries to ensure compliance with our Code of Conduct. And as of this year, more than 21 million supplier employees have received rights trainings, and we’ve reached 4.6 million with education, skill-building and enrichment courses.”

Mr. Khan highlighted that Apple achieved carbon neutrality in 2020. So far more than 110 suppliers globally have promised to use 100% renewable energy throughout the entire Apple manufacturing process. The company strives to get closer to its goal of making products without taking any resources from the Earth. Presently, all of the suppliers’ manufacturing plants have accomplished “100% zero waste certification”.

Apple’s list of top 200 suppliers in 2020 has six Taiwanese newcomers such as Auras, a major supplier of Apple’s notebook heat pipes including those for mid-and high-end Macbooks and Macbook Pros. Thanks to the largely enhanced refresh rates of iPhone screens that has boosted cooling system demand, Auras is expected to supply relevant products this year.

GIS plays an important role in the supply chain for MacBook and iPad products. Adopting a distinctive MegaSite business model, GIS is capable of simultaneously offering SMT and panel assembly services, thereby winning favor of Apple. Further, after GIS’s Chinese competitor OFILM withdrew from competition, Apple has decided to increase its share of orders from GIS.

Global Lighting Technologies was added to the supplier list due to Apple’s decision to switch back to scissor mechanism keyboards for MacBook Pro. TXC reappeared on the list by replacing its quartz component competitor Seiko. Concraft, thanks to expanded component supplies, joined the supplier chain of Apple. LOTES, a supplier of CPU sockets, DDR slots, and I/O connectors, also joined the top 200 club.

The list has removed six Taiwanese manufacturers, including two packaging suppliers: Cheng Loong and Intramedia, demonstrating Apple’s commitment to environmental protection. Jan Jia Optoelectronics was removed from the list because it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of TPK. Additionally, keyboard supplier Darfon, acoustic component manufacturer Merry, and flexible PCB supplier FuYang Technology (a joint venture between Pegatron and Kinsus) are no longer on Apple’s top 200 list.

A total of 12 suppliers from China has been included by Apple, including Lingyi iTech, Nanping Aluminum, GigaDevice, Tianma Microelectronics, Jiangsu Gian Technology, Victory Precision, DEREN Electronics, and Selen Technology, while Risuntek and Liyuan Precision Manufacturing have been taken out from the list. The number of Chinese newcomers exceeds that of their counterparts from other countries, suggesting that the “red supply chain” has played an increasingly important role.

(Source of the first image: Apple’s 2021 Supplier Responsibility Report)

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