Meta wants to free itself from China. The American firm is currently looking for solutions to manufacture its products, including Quest virtual reality headsets, outside of Chinese territory. The task looks daunting.
To go with the rise of the metaverse, Meta set out to manufacture a plethora of accessories for use in virtual and augmented reality. The American firm, formerly focused on its social networks, markets a range of VR headsets, the Quests 2 and Quest Pro. In the future, Meta will expand its offer with AR accessories, such as a pair of smart glasses. As part of its metaverse strategy, Meta therefore manufactures more and more devices.
According to our colleagues from the Washington Post, the Californian firm wishes to gradually move the production of these products outside of China. Until now, Meta’s leaders cared little about business dependence to Chinese production lines. Before the group’s name change, Meta, then called Facebook, was indeed focused on its platforms and advertising revenue.
Meta wants to break free from China
With the turn to the metaverse, the problem of Chinese dependency has been brought back to the fore. Asked by the washington postMeta confirms being at the search for new production lines to assemble its products.
“At present, Meta’s consumer electronics hardware is manufactured in China, but we are constantly reviewing and exploring supply chain opportunities around the world”.
Meta has notably set out to find alternative solutions to produce its connected watch dedicated to augmented reality. Before the cancellation of the projectthe company planned toorganize assembly in Taiwan. Despite its cost reduction policy, the firm is still working on an AR accessory intended to be worn on the wrist, reports the media. This future product could be made in Taiwan rather than China, although a host of hurdles have stood in the way of Meta.
The label of discord
According to Meta executives, the group is making every effort to avoid the mention Made in China on the labels of its products. The firm has, for example, done everything to affix the Made in Italy label to Ray-Ban Stories glasses. In vain. The brand fears that the mention of manufacture in China will displease users and American authorities.
In recent years, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Meta, has repeatedly opposed Chinese hegemony. According to the billionaire, China steals technologies developed by the United States and represents a danger to freedom on the Internet. In this context, Meta fears being taxed as a hypocrite by manufacturing its devices in China.
The Californian group also wants to avoid ending up caught in the crossfire in the trade war between the United States and China. Meta especially fears that the Chinese regime will take sanctions against him as a result of his positions. More broadly, the prospect of sanctions against American companies in China is forcing Meta to find solutions to migrate its production as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, alternatives to Chinese factories, like Vietnam, Taiwan and India, failed to convince the American giant. These countries do not yet have sufficient infrastructure to ensure the production of Meta devices. For the time being, it seems impossible for Meta to migrate the production of Quest helmets outside of Chinese territory.
The corporate exodus from China
Meta is not the only multinational to want to abandon China. Since 2019, Apple started trying to move away from Chinese factories. Under the impetus of the Californian giant, the Foxconn company has opened factories in India, Vietnam and Brazil.
Apple wants 30% of iPhones be assembled in these countries. Currently, less than 3% of iPhones are not produced in China. Eventually, Apple wants to relocate all iPhone production outside of Chinese soil. China would still be responsible for manufacturing some of its AirPods and Apple Watch. From 2023, part of MacBooks will be produced in Vietnam rather than China. Same story in the automotive sector. Last month, Mercedes announced its intention to produce motors and batteries for its electric cars in Europe to emancipate from China.
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Meta wants to produce its VR headsets outside of China, but it looks complicated
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