News India Times – that’s all you need to know Opinion News India Times January 14, 2022 4 A year after Apple supplierWistron Corp. faced an uprising in India, its larger rival Foxconn Technol- ogy Group is encountering a similar rebuke. This time, their key client is getting drawn into what ought to serve as a wake up call for Taiwanese manufacturers in the South Asian nation. Concerns about food safety and accommodation stan- dards spurred Apple to take the unusual step of placing the factory near the southern Indian city of Chennai on probation. More than 17,000 people work at the facility, and in mid-December hundreds of workers contracted food poisoning. More than 150 were hospitalized. That outbreak spurred workers to strike, once again shining a spotlight on conditions for the tens of thou- sands of factory staff hired across India to churn out devices that include smartphones and computers. When Apple investigated, it found that not only did food sanita- tion fail to meet expectations, but employee dormitories were also below par. Apple and its Taiwanese partners have been here before. A year earlier, workers at aWistron plant near the tech hub of Bengaluru ransacked that factory after being fed up with delayed and underpaid wages. Baton- equipped police were called in to quell the protest, but not before staff destroyed equipment and torched vehicles. Foxconn last week apologized for the recent problems and said it’s restructuring the local management team. But that’s not good enough. DespiteWistron’s failure a year earlier, it would seem that executives back in Taipei still don’t get it. After decades of developing their business models, Tai- wanese companies including Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. have come to dominate global electronics manufacturing from facilities dotted throughout China. They have done well in the world’s most populous nation over the past 50 years, thanks in part to a common language and successive leaders’ pro- business policies that made it easy to set up factories and hire workers from near and far. Now, faced with labor shortages and a recognition that they’re too reliant on China, Taiwan firms are making the savvy move of shifting operations to the next-largest country. But they’re learning that India isn’t as easy. Be it language barriers, cultural differences or the raucous democracy, Taiwanese executives are struggling to adapt. It’s yet another sign that India is not the next China, but a nation with its own traits and nuances. Part of the challenge is that India lacks the infrastruc- ture Taiwanese companies are accustomed to relying upon when setting up local facilities. When Foxconn founder Terry Gou went on tours of China, playing local governments off against each other in the battle to land the next iPhone factory, he was able to extract com- mitments to provide workers’ accommodation and the numerous other support services needed for a massive manufacturing operation. In theWistron case, local contractors appear at least partly to blame for the wage payment problems that escalated to the point of explosion. Yet management itself failed to adequately monitor its own suppliers to ensure compliance. Foxconn appears to be facing similar prob- lems, exacerbated by the fact that international travel has been curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It would be incorrect to conclude that Chinese workers are simply more compliant than their Indian counter- parts, as evidenced by the 2012 riots at a Foxconn plant in China. But when push comes to shove, Taiwanese management has generally found that local governments in China will side with companies over workers. That’s less likely in India, where leaders need voter support at election time. Perhaps the biggest challenge, though, is management style. Taiwanese businesses - which generally used their own executives in China - will increasingly rely on local leaders to set up and run operations in India. That means offering adequate training and support so that they can mesh the rigid Taiwanese approach to operations with a more relaxed worker culture found on local turf. Their experiences in China, where such a divide also existed, proves that the challenge is not insurmountable. But technology manufacturers had decades to adapt to the local landscape there as they slowly expanded operations in line with the growing needs of their largely- Western clients. In India, though, Taiwan firms must acclimate faster. Customers need these new factories to ramp up quickly in order to ease their reliance on China, while both New Delhi and Taipei are in a hurry to forge a strong trading rela- tionship that can blunt Beijing’s economic power. In the rush to reorient the global center of production, manufacturers don’t have the luxury of time. Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opin- ion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News. -Bloomberg By Tim Culpan Bloomberg Taiwan’s Tech Giants Are Being Hit By India Culture Shock A s we surpass the two-year mark of Covid-19, the need for American leadership in the global response continues to be immense. We must intensify efforts to bring the virus under control both here and abroad. Our international partners need us to serve as the lead actor in defeating the pandemic. Ensuring success will require a number of actions. First, the U.S. must accelerate the availability of vac- cines, therapies and diagnostics to low- and middle-in- come countries. Only when high levels of immunization are achieved everywhere will Americans and our global partners be freed from the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 virus. Under the leadership of American pharmaceutical and bioscience companies, 7.5 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines were produced by the end of September. An estimated 24 billion doses will be manufactured by June 2022. This unprecedented production has been achieved through more than 300 voluntary manufacturing and production agreements, including technology and knowl- edge transfers. Delivering these doses to those who lack access is the most critical task that requires our attention. The U.S. must also pressure other countries to support increased dose-sharing, optimization of production, country readiness, innovation, and the elimination of trade barriers. Nearly 50% of the globe is now fully vaccinated. But achieving theWHO’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the world population by mid-2022 will prove impossible unless significant new investments are made in countries where current rates of immunization are stuck in the single digits. Stepping up our health diplomacy will help accom- plish that. America has done more than any other nation to develop and deliver Covid treatments and provide health, economic and humanitarian assistance across the world. Yet in the first phase of the Covid response, China and Russia won the vaccine diplomacy competition through aggressive communications campaigns and coercive vaccine procurement deals. We have seen how impactful global health programs such as the President’s Emer- gency Plans for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) can be in positively shaping public opinions of the United States in develop- ing countries. There must be a clear public diplomacy strategy that accompanies our global Covid response efforts. The most important component of U.S. pandemic leadership is innovation. But the success of Operation Warp Speed was just a preview of what’s possible when government and industry come together to invest re- sources and deploy health solutions at lightning pace. At the recent G7 Leaders meeting, a 100-day pan- demic preparedness plan was presented by a coalition of scientists, philanthropists and policymakers to ensure that a pandemic of the scale of Covid-19 never happens again. This plan calls for up-front investments and policy changes to enable the full spectrum of pandemic pre- paredness and response capabilities needed to stop the next pandemic threat in its tracks in the first 100 days. The effects of the next pandemic can be minimized only when high levels of preparedness are achieved and planned for, along with the logistics to deliver these tools internationally. If America leads in this arena -- and dedi- cates the needed resources for a strategy of healthcare diplomacy -- it will go a long way in making the world a safer place for all mankind. Ed Royce formerly served as the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 2013-2019. Ted Yoho formerly served as the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcom- mittee on Asia and the Pacific and is a doctor of veterinary medicine. Edward Randall Royce is an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from California from 1993 to 2019. A member of the Republican Party, Royce served as Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs from 2013 to 2019. Theodore Scott Yoho is an Ameri- can politician, veterinarian, and businessman who served as the U.S. representative from Florida’s 3rd congressional district from 2013 until 2021. He is a member of the Republican Party. -Special To News India Times By Ed Royce and Ted Yoho Photo:Twitter @RepEdRoyce Photo:Twitter @RepTedYoho America’s Leadership Strategy for Defeating Covid-19 and Preventing the Next Pandemic Men wearing protective face masks walk past broken windows of a facility run by Wistron Corp, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer for Apple, in Narsapura near the southern city of Bengaluru, India, December 14, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo