Xi Jinping and Tim Cook
Apple warned suppliers not to identify Taiwan as an independent country on Friday, Nikkei reported.
The announcement came after some Apple components were held for review by Chinese authorities.
Earlier this week, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi garnered China’s ire for visiting Taiwan.
Apple told suppliers on Friday to avoid labeling products from Taiwan as “made in Taiwan,” according to a report from Nikkei.
The tech company told its suppliers that products or parts made in Taiwan must be identified as made either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei” to avoid indicating that the island is independent of China, the Japanese business news outlet said.
According to Nikkei, Apple made the decision in order to avoid possible supply chain disruptions from Chinese scrutiny over the labels, especially as the company prepares to receive components from Taiwan that will be used for new products slated to launch later this year.
Some iPhone components were held for review on Thursday to see whether the shipments were labeled to China’s satisfaction, Nikkei reported.
Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment ahead of publication.
Apple’s warning comes only a few days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan in a visit that prompted a strong reaction from China. The nation has claimed Taiwan as its own for decades, even though China has never controlled the self-governed democratic country.
Pelosi’s actions were seen by Beijing as a “major political provocation” and a challenge to China sovereignty, Hua Chunying, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, said on Twitter. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned ahead of the visit that the Biden administration would get “burned.” Beijing also launched a series of military drills around Taiwan in response.
Pelosi has been outspoken in her support of Taiwan’s independence.
“We want Taiwan to always have freedom with security and we’re not backing away from that,” Pelosi said at a press event on Wednesday.
Apple is particularly reliant on China and Taiwan to provide components for its products. Last year, over a quarter of the company’s suppliers were located in China. Much of the company’s product is assembled in China, a process that Apple CEO Tim Cook has helped pioneer.
Last year, The Information reported that Cook struck a five-year $275 billion deal with the Chinese government in 2016 in order to ease a regulatory crackdown on its business in Asia.
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