Indigenous airline aims to 'walk softly' on Mother Earth

Indigenous airline takes off

Woman Air – that is the rough translation for a new airline, Iskwew Air, operating out of Vancouver International Airport which is founded and run by a Metis woman.

On Monday, YVR and Iskwew Air signed a memorandum of understanding to work toward reconciliation and furthering Indigenous tourism.

Iskwew is the Cree word for “woman” and the new airline’s focus is on elevating women in Indigenous business.

Teara Fraser, founder and owner of Iskwew, said the new airline’s aim is about “decolonizing and decarbonizing the skies for the next seven generations.”

This will allow the business to “walk more softly on Mother Earth,” she added.

Fraser noted every Iskwew Air flight is “carbon neutral,” whereby a donation is made toward the Great Bear Rainforest.

Fraser said the company is also working with YVR’s innovation hub to collaborate on initiatives, sharing information and inspiring other YVR-based companies to be more sustainable.

This includes looking at how flights can be more sustainable, for example, by reducing time in the air, as well as looking at the future of air travel, be it electric or hydrocarbon-based.

“That’s how we see large-scale change,” Fraser said.

The MOU is an agreement to uplift Indigenous tourism, be more sustainable and acknowledge a deeper partnership between YVR and Indigenous people in B.C., Fraser explained.

Iskwew Air received the blessing from Musqueam to operate on their traditional unceded territory in September 2018.

Iskwew Air received its operating certificate in October 2019 and started its scheduled, cargo and charter flights in 2021.  

The silver lining of starting a business during the COVID-19 pandemic, when air travel dropped by about 90 per cent at YVR, was that businesses learned to be more creative and innovative, focusing on sustainability and equity, Fraser said.

The MOU is “meaningful reconciliation” which will allow First Nations to achieve “economic reconciliation,” she added.

“I want to see lots of Indigenous businesses here at YVR,” she said.

Fraser spoke of “rematriating” Indigenous businesses, that is, from an Indigenous perspective, “women are honoured in their leadership and… their unique approach to community building and relationship building and caring for others,” Fraser told the Richmond News at Monday’s event.

This is done through a lens of womanhood, language and leadership and Fraser said she’s been promoting the hashtag #Rematriate to promote women in Indigenous businesses.


Attorneys for Musk, Twitter argue over information exchange

Wrangling over Twitter fight

A Delaware judge is hearing arguments over the exchange of information by lawyers for Twitter and Elon Musk in a lawsuit in which the social media giant is seeking to force Musk to carry through with his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

Tuesday’s hearing comes three weeks before a scheduled trial in the lawsuit.

Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering $54.20 a share and vowing to loosen the company’s policing of content and to root out fake accounts. In July, Musk indicated that he wanted to back away from the deal, claiming that Twitter had failed to provide him enough information about the number of fake accounts on its platform.

The hearing will begin with arguments on a motion by Musk’s attorneys to revise their answer to the lawsuit and their counterclaims against Twitter for the second time. Musk’s attorneys want to add information regarding a severance agreement and $7.75 million payment to former employee Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. Musk’s attorneys assert that Twitter needed his consent before making the payment but failed to do so.

Zatko is a cybersecurity expert who was the head of security for Twitter until he was fired early this year. He filed a whistleblower complaint in July with Congress, the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The complaint outlines a host of accusations against Twitter, including that CEO Parag Agrawal and other senior executives and board members have made false and misleading statements about Twitter’s cybersecurity, privacy and integrity.

Twitter attorneys argue that the inclusion of information about Zatko’s severance should be conditioned on Musk attorneys turning over records of all communications since December among Musk, his advisers and co-investors that involve Zatko.

The judge will also hear arguments on several other disputes regarding discovery, or the exchange of information, between attorneys for Musk and Twitter. They include efforts by Musk lawyers to obtain more data from a sampling of about 9,000 Twitter accounts in the fourth quarter of 2021, and claims that Twitter is withholding too much information as “privileged,” or confidential. Musk attorneys also claim that Twitter is improperly withholding information regarding user metrics.

Attorneys for Twitter, meanwhile, are asking the judge to sanction Musk attorneys for failing to produce responsive phone messages, and to order them to comply with a previous discovery order.

BIPOC realtors find clients refuse to work with them because of their identity: OREA

Real estate discrimination

New research from the Ontario Real Estate Association shows realtors and their clients are facing racism and discrimination during the home buying and selling process, but there are no efficient ways for consumers to report such incidents.

The Fighting for Fair Housing report released by the provincial real estate body Tuesday says more than one-third of realtors have experienced discrimination or racism and one in four BIPOC say a client has refused to work with them because of their identity.

Two in 10 consumers say they’ve been treated unfairly because of their identity, with those who are Black, Indigenous or of colour and LGBTQ2S+ individuals more likely to report such treatment.

The data has encouraged OREA to push for a process where complaints about racism and discrimination in the sector can easily be registered, investigated and result in stronger penalties.

It also wants the equal treatment of all individuals mandated in the Condominium Act because 43 per cent of realtors say they’ve seen a rental deal fall through because of discrimination. 

They'd also like to make home ownership more accessible for all by reducing government-imposed costs on new rental projects and building 99,000 community housing units over the next 10 years.


Canadian employers projecting 4.2% salary increase in 2023: survey

Employers forecast raises

Canadian employers are anticipating the highest salary increase in two decades as they try to balance inflationary pressures, surging interest rates, recession risks and a tight labour market, a new survey has found.

According to the report by consulting firm Eckler Ltd., the national average base salary increase for next year is projected at 4.2 per cent, excluding planned salary freezes, which parallels 2022 actual base salary increases. Projected salary increases for 2022 was lower than the actual figures.

British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are projecting the highest average salary increases, with the Yukon, Nunavut and Prince Edward Island projecting the lowest.

The largest average salary increases are expected to be in the technology sector at 5.4 per cent.

The smallest increases are expected in the education, health care, agriculture and hospitality sectors.

Eckler's national compensation practice leader Anand Parsan said salary planning for 2023 has been rife with complexity.

The survey results also show that Canadian organizations are planning to use compensation as a key part of their talent management strategy, with just one per cent of organizations reporting a planned salary freeze for 2023.

Additionally, 44 per cent of organizations remain undecided about salary budgets for 2023.

Meanwhile, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half found that salary remains top of mind for Canadian workers, with 57 per cent of professionals saying they feel underpaid.

The research found thirty-four per cent of workers plan to ask for a raise by the end of the year if they don't get one or the amount is lower than expected, while 37 per cent would consider changing jobs for a 10 per cent increase in pay.

Forty-seven per cent of professionals are more likely to request a higher starting salary today compared to 12 months ago.

The research also showed that employers are stepping up when it comes to compensation in order to win over talent, with 42 per cent offering higher starting salaries.

In addition, 79 per cent of managers who increased base compensation for new hires in the past year have also made pay adjustments for current staff.

Hurricane Fiona to cause up to record $700 million in insured losses

Fiona could cost $700M

DBRS Morningstar estimates hurricane Fiona will cause between $300 million and $700 million in insured losses in Atlantic Canada for a record high in the region.

The credit rating agency says in a report that that amount is roughly in line with previous natural disasters in other provinces such as the flooding in B.C. last year that saw $515 million in insured losses.

Atlantic Canada represents a small portion of the Canadian property insurance market, according to the report.

However, hurricane Fiona will likely go down as one of the region’s largest catastrophic events and more could be on the horizon.

Climate change is worsening the region's risk to major storms like hurricane Fiona.

DBRS Morningstar says insurers may be more cautious when assessing risk in the region, likely raising premiums to cover the rising costs of payouts.

Danish premier 'cannot rule out' sabotage to Russian gas pipelines

Can't rule out sabotage

The Danish prime minister said Tuesday that she “cannot rule out” sabotage after three leaks were detected on Russian natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea to Europe.

Premier Mette Frederiksen spoke after simultaneous problems were reported with the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that were not bringing gas to Germany amid an energy standoff caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine but were still filled with the fuel. She spoke at the inauguration of a new pipeline with Norwegian gas meant to wean Poland and Europe off Russian supplies.

Officials said the leaks did not pose any threat to energy supplies and experts said the environmental impact would be limited.

Danish authorities announced Monday that a leak was detected in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has never been used. They were later informed of a major pressure drop on Nord Stream 1, which until recently has been a key source of gas to Germany.

The Swedish Maritime Administration said Tuesday that two leaks were discovered in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which partly runs in Swedish waters. Danish authorities also have confirmed the leaks.

The Danish Maritime Authority has issued a navigation warning and established a prohibited area with the aim of ensuring that ships do not sail near the leaks. Ships may lose buoyancy if they sail into the area, and there may also be a risk of ignition above the water and in the air, the Danish authorities said. Swedish authorities sent out similar warnings.

The leaks in the pipelines have been detected northeast and southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm.

”Authorities and the government are following the situation closely,” Denmark’s Energy Minister Dan Jørgensen said, according to Danish media.

The German economy ministry said it was investigating the cause for the pressure drop in Nord Stream 1, and that "we currently do not know the reason for the drop in pressure.”

The pipelines have been at the center of an energy war between Europe and Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in late February. A drop in Russian gas supplies has caused energy prices to soar, causing pain for many across Europe and creating fears about the coming winter and putting pressure on governments to help ease the pain of sky-high bills of their citizens.

Across Europe, countries have been struggling to find other sources of gas, starting from different positions. Poland, for example, was already on track when the war began to free itself of Russian gas after working for years to find other sources, including imports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the United States and the Middle East. Germany, in contrast, is only now struggling to quickly build LNG terminals.

A prominent project in the bid for energy security is the Baltic Pipe, a pipeline bringing Norwegian gas through Denmark and along the Baltic Sea to Poland. It is due to be inaugurated Tuesday in northern Poland by Polish, Danish and Norwegian officials.

Of the two pipelines hit by leaks, Nord Stream 2 has never operated, while Nord Stream 1 carried gas to Germany until this month, when Russian energy giant Gazprom cut off the supply, claiming there was a need for urgent maintenance work.

Gazprom's explanation of technical problems have been rejected by German officials as a cover for a political power play to raise prices and spread uncertainty.

Nord Stream 2 was already complete when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended its certification on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Germany has been heavily reliant on natural gas supplies from Russia, but Berlin has been trying to look for other sources of energy.

Despite fears of a winter shortage, gas storage has progressed in recent weeks in Germany and other parts of Europe.

“We do not see any impact on the security of supply,” the German economy ministry said, referring to the pressure drop in Nord Stream 1. “Since the Russian supply stopped at the beginning of September, no gas has flowed through Nord Stream 1 anymore. Storage levels continue to rise steadily. They are currently at about 91%.”

Meta disables Russian propaganda network targeting Europe

Propaganda web disabled

A sprawling disinformation network originating in Russia sought to use hundreds of fake social media accounts and dozens of sham news websites to spread Kremlin talking points about the invasion of Ukraine, Meta revealed Tuesday.

The company, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said it identified and disabled the operation before it was able to gain a large audience. Nonetheless, Facebook said it was the largest and most complex Russian propaganda effort that it has found since the invasion began.

The operation involved more than 60 websites created to mimic legitimate news sites including The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and Germany's Der Spiegel. Instead of the actual news reported by those outlets, however, the fake sites contained links to Russian propaganda and disinformation about Ukraine. More than 1,600 fake Facebook accounts were used to spread the propaganda to audiences in Germany, Italy, France, the U.K. and Ukraine.

The findings highlighted both the promise of social media companies to police their sites and the peril that disinformation continues to pose.

“Video: False Staging in Bucha Revealed!” claimed one of the fake news stories, which blamed Ukraine for the slaughter of hundreds of Ukrainians in a town occupied by the Russians.

The fake social media accounts were then used to spread links to the fake news stories and other pro-Russian posts and videos on Facebook and Instagram, as well as platforms including Telegram and Twitter. The network was active throughout the summer.

“On a few occasions, the operation’s content was amplified by the official Facebook pages of Russian embassies in Europe and Asia,” said David Agranovich, Meta's director of threat disruption. “I think this is probably the largest and most complex Russian-origin operation that we’ve disrupted since the beginning of the war in Ukraine earlier this year."

The network's activities were first noticed by investigative reporters in Germany. When Meta began its investigation it found that many of the fake accounts had already been removed by Facebook's automated systems. Thousands of people were following the network's Facebook pages when they were deactivated earlier this year.

Researchers said they couldn't directly attribute the network to the Russian government. But Agranovich noted the role played by Russian diplomats and said the operation relied on some sophisticated tactics, including the use of multiple languages and carefully constructed imposter websites.

Since the war began in February, the Kremlin has used online disinformation and conspiracy theories in an effort to weaken international support for Ukraine. Groups linked to the Russian government have accused Ukraine of staging attacks, blamed the war on baseless allegations of U.S. bioweapon development and portrayed Ukrainian refugees as criminals and rapists.

Social media platforms and European governments have tried to stifle the Kremlin's propaganda and disinformation, only to see Russia shift tactics.

A message sent to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., asking for a response to Meta's recent actions was not immediately returned.

Researchers at Meta Platforms Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, California, also exposed a much smaller network that originated in China and attempted to spread divisive political content in the U.S.

The operation reached only a tiny U.S. audience, with some posts receiving just a single engagement. The posts also made some amateurish moves that showed they weren't American, including some clumsy English language mistakes and a habit of posting during Chinese working hours.

Despite its ineffectiveness, the network is notable because it's the first identified by Meta that targeted Americans with political messages ahead of this year's midterm elections. The Chinese posts didn't support one party or the other but seemed intent on stirring up polarization.

“While it failed, it’s important because it’s a new direction” for Chinese disinformation operations, said Ben Nimmo, who directs global threat intelligence for Meta.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency raises alarm as spotted lanternfly pest nears border

CFIA raises alarm on pest

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is asking Canadians to keep an eye out for an invasive bug that could spell disaster for the country's wineries and fruit growers.

The spotted lanternfly is a pest native to China that has been making inroads in the United States since 2014.

Thus far, the small grey-and-red insect with spotted wings has not been found alive in Canada.

But in early September, hundreds of adults were found in a residential area in Buffalo, N.Y., just 45 km away from the Canadian border.

The reports set off alarms at the CFIA, which in a tweet last week asked Canadians to report any sightings of the pest on this side of the border "immediately."

The insect feeds on sap, mainly from fruit trees, and can cause serious harm to orchards and vineyards.

"We're becoming more and more concerned about the proximity to Canada, and particularly our grape-growing industries, because this is a pest that has had significant impacts on the grape and fruit industry in the United States," said Diana Mooij, a specialist in the invasive alien species program within the CFIA.

The first North American sighting of the pest was in Pennsylvania in 2014, and since then, a tracking program monitored by Cornell University has documented the pest in 14 U.S. states.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware have the most sightings, along with areas in and around New York City. It has been found as far east as Rhode Island, as far south as North Carolina and as far west as Indiana. 

The Buffalo sightings were the first to occur near the Canadian border.

Mooij says dead adults have been found on trucks in Canada. She says females lay their eggs on almost anything that is stored outside.

"This is a pest that unfortunately can travel on all kinds of things," she said. "It doesn't just travel on plants, it can travel on shipping containers and trucks and cars and camping gear. 

"We're asking everybody to have some increased vigilance in looking for this pest, particularly if they've been to areas in the United States where the pest is found," she said.

Mooij says the insect is very distinctive, with its spotted wings, a pinkish hue when the wings are closed and bright red colouring when the wings are open.

The insects need large amounts of sap to survive. Signs of their presence can include trees with large amounts of sap weeping out onto the bark. 

The insects produce a sugary waste known as "honeydew" that attracts pollinators like bees and wasps and can cause fungi and mould to grow on trees, which can damage them.

Pennsylvania says an analysis in 2019 showed the insect could cause more than US$300 million damage to its economy annually.

British pound plunges to all-time low as tax cuts spark concern

British pound plunges

The British pound fell to all-time low against the U.S. dollar early Monday after Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng pledged a sweeping package of tax cuts, fueling concerns about the government’s economic policy as the United Kingdom teeters toward recession.

The pound fell as low as $1.0373, its lowest level since the decimalization of the currency in 1971, before rallying to above $1.06 in London late afternoon trading.

The weakening currency piles pressure on the U.K.’s new Conservative government, which has gambled that slashing taxes — and increasing borrowing to compensate — will spur economic growth. Many economists say it’s more likely to fuel already high inflation, push down the pound and drive up the cost of U.K. government borrowing — a potential perfect storm of economic headwinds.

The Bank of England said it is monitoring the drop in the pound and would not hesitate to boost interest rates to control inflation after doing so just last week. The central bank reiterated its intention to make a “full assessment’’ of the government’s tax and spending plans at its next meeting scheduled for November.

In a bid to reassure markets, the Treasury announced it would set out a medium-term fiscal plan on Nov. 23, alongside an economic forecast by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. But the pound sank by two U.S. pennies after both statements.

The British currency has been hammered since Friday, when Kwarteng announced the U.K.'s biggest tax cuts in 50 years.

The government plans to cut 45 billion pounds ($49 billion) in taxes as well as spend billions to help consumers and businesses struggling with high energy bills that are driving a cost-of-living crisis. The combination has sparked investor concern about spiraling government debt.

Kwarteng and Prime Minister Liz Truss, who took office three weeks ago, are betting that lower taxes and reduced bureaucracy eventually will generate enough additional tax revenue to cover government spending. Economists suggest it is unlikely the gamble will pay off.

Opposition Labour Party economy spokeswoman Rachel Reeves accused the government of “a return to trickle-down economics, an idea that has been tried, has been tested and has failed.”

“They are not gambling with their money — they are gambling with yours," she told an audience at the party's annual conference Monday.

The new and untested Truss, who replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister on Sept. 6, also faces pressure from a nervous Conservative Party, which faces an election within two years.

Some Conservatives have welcomed the tax-cutting moves as a return to free-market values after years of state intervention in the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. But others worry it is unconservative for the government to rack up huge debts that taxpayers will eventually have to pay.

Monday's turbulence follows a 3% fall in the pound Friday, the biggest one-day drop against the U.S. dollar since Johnson announced Britain’s first COVID-19 lockdown on March 18, 2020. Before that, the pound lost more than 10% of its value immediately after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 before rebounding.

The sense of a government losing control led some to compare current events with Sept. 16, 1992 — “Black Wednesday” — when a collapsing pound against the backdrop of high inflation forced the U.K. to crash out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, which was meant to stabilize exchange rates. It took the U.K. years to recover from the economic shock.

Kwarteng insisted the government was acting responsibly — and said there were more tax cuts to come.

“We’ve only been here 19 days. I want to see, over the next year, people retain more of their income because I believe that it is the British people that are going to drive this economy," he told the BBC.

As it is cutting taxes, the government plans to cap electricity and natural gas prices for homes and businesses to help cushion price rises that have been triggered by Russia's war in Ukraine and have sent inflation to a near 40-year high of 9.9%.

This program will cost 60 billion pounds, and the government will borrow to finance it, Kwarteng said Friday.

He said Sunday that it was the right policy because the government needed to help consumers squeezed by the unprecedented pressures caused by the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

Britain can afford the cost because its debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is the second lowest among the Group of Seven large industrial economies, Kwarteng said. He said the government would announce a “medium-term fiscal plan” for reducing the nation’s debt in the coming months.

Sterling is not the only currency showing weakness. The euro also hit a fresh 20-year low against the dollar as the war in Ukraine drives fears about recession and energy security ahead of the winter.

While the pound’s slide has accelerated in recent days, the currency has fallen steadily against the dollar for more than a year as investors sought the security of U.S. assets amid the global economic shocks.

The pound’s decline against the dollar also has been fueled by the Bank of England not keeping pace with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s efforts to rein in inflation. Britain’s central bank on Thursday raised interest rates by half a percentage point, compared with large three-quarter-point increase by the Fed last week. But U.K. inflation is the highest among major economies, and the bank predicted that Britain could already be in recession, which it defines as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

The bank's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee is not due to meet again until Nov. 3, but many economists say it may have to hike rates sooner if the pound's slide continues.

“There’s been this dramatic loss of confidence in the government’s economic management. But now the ball is in the Bank of England’s court," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown.

Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter to retire next year, Finning CEO will take over

Finning boss to Scotia

Scotiabank chief executive Brian Porter will retire at the end of January next year.

The bank announced Monday that he will be replaced by Scott Thomson, currently president and chief executive of heavy equipment dealer Finning International Inc.

Thomson has been a member of the Scotiabank board since 2016.

Barclays analyst John Aiken said in a note to clients that the appointment of a Canadian bank CEO from outside of the organization and industry is "surprising." 

"That said, with Mr. Thomson’s involvement in the board (and several committees), we do not expect the transition to be jarring and the move leads us to believe that there should not be an immediate shift in Scotia’s strategy as Mr. Thomson has been involved in developing it at the board level," said Aiken.

"Further, we believe that his experience in Latin America is a positive and was likely a component that attracted the search committee."

Aiken noted that during Thomson's tenure, he "significantly improved" the company’s earnings capacity, driving increased return on invested capital, particularly in Latin America.

Thomson will retire from Finning on Nov. 15 and become president at Scotiabank starting on Dec. 1, where he will be responsible for Canadian Banking, Global Banking and Markets, Global Wealth Management, and International Banking, before taking over as chief executive on Feb. 1, 2023.

Thomson has an investment banking background and experience in telecom and the natural resource industry.

Porter joined Scotiabank in 1981 and became chief executive on Nov. 1, 2013.

To aid in the transition, he will serve as a strategic adviser to Thomson from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2023.

During his time as Scotiabank's CEO, Porter presided over the sale of the bank’s CI Financial stake and acquisition of Jarislowsky Fraser and MD Health, and overhauled the bank's Latin America-focused business.

"I have always believed that banking is a calling and serving this enduring, 190-year-old institution as president and CEO has been the honour of my lifetime," Porter said in a statement attached to Scotiabank's announcement. 

"I leave the bank with the same sense of optimism that marked the start of my time in this role. I am confident that Scott Thomson will guide the bank through the next phase of its growth and development. He is a results-driven and proven leader who executes with purpose and shares values that are aligned with those of the bank. I have every confidence he will lead the bank exceedingly well."

In a separate news release, Finning said Kevin Parkes, currently chief operating officer at the company, will succeed Thomson as president and chief executive officer.

UK: TikTok may face big fine over children's data protection

TikTok faces privacy fine

TikTok could face a 27 million-pound ($29 million) fine in the U.K. over a possible breach of U.K. data protection law by failing to protect children's privacy when they are using the video-sharing platform.

The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office said Monday that it has issued the social media company a legal document that precedes a potential fine. It said TikTok may have processed the data of children under 13 without appropriate parental consent, and processed “special category data” without legal grounds to do so.

The commissioner said “special category data” included ethnic and racial origin, political opinions, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.

It also said TikTok may have failed to provide transparent, easily understood information to its users. The legal document covered the period from May 2018 to July 2020.

Information Commissioner John Edwards said the body's provisional view was that TikTok “fell short” of providing proper data privacy protections. The body said its findings are not final and that it will consider any representations from TikTok before making a final decision.

“While we respect the ICO’s role in safeguarding privacy in the U.K., we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO," said a statement released by TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Britain's government is pushing through its online safety bill, which requires technology companies to protect children from harmful content.

The Information Commissioner's Office said it has six other ongoing investigations into companies that do not appear to have taken their responsibilities around child safety seriously enough.

Apple says it will manufacture iPhone 14 in India

iPhones to be made in India

Apple Inc. will make its iPhone 14 in India, the company said on Monday, as manufacturers shift production from China amid geopolitical tensions and pandemic restrictions that have disrupted supply chains for many industries.

“The new iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking new technologies and important safety capabilities. We’re excited to be manufacturing iPhone 14 in India,” Apple said in a statement.

Apple unveiled its latest line-up of iPhones earlier this month. They will have improved cameras, faster processors and longer lasting batteries at the same prices as last year’s models.

India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market after China but Apple iPhone sales have struggled to capture a large share of the market against cheaper smartphones from competitors.

The announcement from the Cupertino, California-based company dovetails with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for local manufacturing, which has been a key goal for his government ever since he took office in 2014.

The tech company has bet big on India, where it first began manufacturing its iPhone SE in 2017 and has since continued to assemble a number of iPhone models there. Apple opened its online store for India two years ago, but the pandemic has delayed plans for a flagship store in India, according to local media reports.

The latest model will be shipped out by Foxconn, a major iPhone assembler, whose facilities are on the outskirts of Chennai, a city in southern India.

Apple is likely to shift about 5% of its iPhone 14 production to India from later this year, raising it to 25% by 2025, according to a JP Morgan report quoted by the Press Trust of India news agency.

The analysts expect that nearly a quarter of all Apple products to be manufactured outside China by 2025, compared to about 5% now. Supply chain risks like the stringent COVID-19 lockdowns seen in China are likely the trigger for such relocation efforts that will continue over the next two or three years, the report said.

“Apple has been trying to diversify its supply chain for a while, but these efforts have grown in the last two years over trade sanctions between the U.S. and China,” said Sanyam Chaurasia, an analyst at Canalys.

Last year, the tech giant manufactured around 7 million iPhones in India. This news is likely to significantly increase India-made Apple smartphones, he added.

He said the plan to make more iPhones in India may also lead Apple to drop its prices for the Indian market, making it more competitive. “You can adopt a more aggressive pricing strategy if you manufacture locally,” Chaurasia said.

Most of Apple Inc.’s smartphones and tablets are assembled by contractors with factories in China, but the company started asking them in 2020 to look at the possibility of moving some production to Southeast Asia or other places after repeated shutdowns to fight COVID-19 disrupted its global flow of products.

Apple hasn’t released details, but news reports say the company planned to set up assembly of tablet computers and wireless earphones in Vietnam.

Other companies are keeping or expanding manufacturing in China to serve the domestic market while shifting export-oriented work to other countries due to rising wages and other costs, as well as the difficulty for foreign executives to visit China due to anti-COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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