Foxconn reports 11% rise in third-quarter net profit

Key iPhone supplier Foxconn said Tuesday that it saw an 11 percent profit increase in its third-quarter profits.

The firm — also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision Industry — is the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer and assembles devices for several companies, most notably Apple’s iPhones.

It said net profit for July-September rose to Tw$43.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) from Tw$38.8 billion in the same period last year.

Tuesday’s results follow consecutive quarterly profit misses — with January-March seeing a drop of 56 percent and a one percent fall in the next three months.

Foxconn is China’s largest private-sector employer, with more than a million workers nationwide.

But the company — as well as key client Apple — has been looking to diversify its manufacturing supply chain after it saw its production affected by strict Covid restrictions in China and diplomatic tensions with the United States.

Last month, Chinese state-run media Global Times reported that Foxconn was under land use and tax investigations for its sites in central Hunan and Hubei provinces, though no details on the offences were provided.

The company has said it will cooperate with relevant authorities “for the operations concerned”.

But Taiwan’s national security chief has said the tax probe was “political”, as billionaire founder Terry Gou is running for president of the democratically ruled island. –Agence France-Presse

UK probes Microsoft-OpenAI partnership

Britain’s competition watchdog announced on Friday that it was looking into whether a partnership between US tech giant Microsoft and artificial intelligence developer OpenAI resembles a merger.