Apple supplier Wistron puts India plant damage at up to $7 million By Reuters



© Reuters. Men wearing protective face masks walk past broken windows of a facility run by Wistron Corp in Narsapura

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The ransacking of an iPhone manufacturing facility in India caused up to T$200 million ($7.12 million) in damage though production facilities were not as badly hit as reported, its Taiwan-based operator Wistron Corp said on Tuesday.

Thousands of contract workers gathered on the grounds of the Wistron site on the outskirts of India’s tech hub of Bengaluru on Saturday demanding unpaid wages and better working hours.

As police arrived, the crowd turned violent and video from the scene showed people armed with rods and sticks smashing equipment and vandalising cars. In a police report seen by Reuters, Wistron estimated damages worth $60 million.

However, in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the company said major production facilities and warehouses had not suffered as serious damage as reported by local media, and that it was initially estimating losses at T$100-200 million.

The company is doing its utmost to get the plant back up and running, it said. Wistron shares fell around 2.5% in early Asia trade, underperforming Taiwan’s broader stock market.

“The company has cooperated with the relevant authorities and the police investigation and continues to negotiate with the insurance company,” Wistron added, without elaborating.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) said on Monday it was investigating whether Wistron had flouted supplier guidelines. Apple said it was sending staff and auditors to the site and was cooperating with police in their investigation. Wistron is one of Apple’s top global suppliers.

It has been making iPhones in India for nearly four years and its operation has been seen as a success story for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government that is looking to boost manufacturing.

($1 = 28.1040 Taiwan dollars)

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