Amazon, Microsoft, and Google plot to pull product manufacturing out of China, deepening the cold war engulfing tech

China laptop factory production

  • Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard are all drawing up plans to move huge chunks of production out of China, Nikkei Asian Review reports.
  • For Google, Amazon, and Microsoft the main areas of concern are games consoles, e-readers, and smart speakers. For Dell and HP, notebooks are where they’re looking to shift production.
  • It follows the Nikkei Asian Review also reporting that Apple wants to reduce its exposure to China because of ongoing uncertainty around the trade war.
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US tech giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard are all gearing up to start shifting production away from China amid the trade war, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

Citing multiple sources, Nikkei reports that all five companies have been scouting various other Asian countries as potential new homes for electronics production.

This is the latest chapter in the tech cold war which has snowballed substantially amid President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

Nikkei reported last month that Apple was seriously considering moving 15% to 30% of its iPhone production out of China, in an early sign that US companies want to reduce their exposure to the country as uncertainty continues.

Google, Amazon, and Microsoft

Games consoles and smart speakers are the primary concern for Silicon Valley giants Google, Amazon, and Microsoft — along with Sony and Nintendo.

Amazon Echo

Amazon is looking at moving production of its e-readers and Echo smart speakers to Vietnam, Nikkei said. Microsoft is weighing up Thailand and Indonesia, presumably for production of the Xbox, as well as its less well-known Cortana speaker.

Read more: Here are the US states that could be hit hardest by the “tech cold war”

Nikkei gave no details about where Google might consider moving production of its Google Home smart speakers.

Trump’s tariffs pose a major existential threat to video game consoles. Last week, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo wrote a joint letter to the US government asking to be exempted from the tariffs because of the “disproportionate harm” they would cause to US consumers and business.

Dell and HP

For Dell and HP, notebook computers are the main area where the companies are looking to move production. The two companies shipped a combined 70 million notebook devices last year, according to Nikkei, most of which were made in China.

Dell is already trialling notebook production in Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, according to two people familiar with the plan.

Two sources said HP is looking to shift 20% to 30% of production out of the country, and is eyeing up Thailand and Taiwan as potential alternatives. One source said the changes could begin as early as late July, but were still liable to change.

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, and HP were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.

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