China’s Apple bashing raises serious concerns for Taiwanese contractors

The China Post news staff and agencies

The recent decision by Beijing to suspend operation of a Taiwanese contractor of Apple Inc. in the mainland and what seems to be a concerted effort by the mainland to criticize the U.S. tech giant’s environmental credentials have caused concern among local Apple suppliers. The Taiwan-based metal casing manufacturer Catcher Technology, supplier of Apple’s popular iPhone, saw its share price fall by the maximum daily decline of 7 percent three days in a row after Chinese authorities ordered partial suspension of operations at its facility in Suzhou for causing air pollution. The three-day drop of over 20 percent in share price to NT$152 yesterday wiped out NT$26 billion in Catcher’s market value. Catcher stressed yesterday that its Suzhou plant conforms to all Chinese environmental standards and was suspended only due to unsolved “odor” issues that local residents complained to have caused headaches and eye irritations. The company said it will install a US$4 million exhaust gas processor early. It hoped to solve the problem as soon as by the end of the month and put its Suzhou unit back on line by November.

Taiwan’s United Evening News pointed out that even if Chinese authorities lift suspension of Catcher’s Suzhou plant by November, which is not guaranteed given Beijing’s “high level of concern,” the company would see its October revenue drop by 20 percent and its November revenue by as much as 40 percent.