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Google Picks Southern Indian State for Smartphone Production

In Technology
May 23, 2024

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Google plans to invest billions of dollars in India’s Tamil Nadu state to set up smartphone production, picking the southern industrial province for its manufacturing push in the country.

The Alphabet Inc. unit plans to assemble Pixel phones in the state, setting up new production lines with Taiwanese contract manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group, people familiar with the matter said. Its Wing subsidiary will also assemble drones in Tamil Nadu, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

Google is accelerating its plans to manufacture devices in India, following companies such as Apple Inc. in pivoting away from China to lessen geopolitical risks. The company’s decision benefits Tamil Nadu, which is seeking to get into advanced manufacturing and move away from the historical tag line “Detroit of India.”

A team from the Tamil Nadu government, comprising Minister for Industries T.R.B. Rajaa and senior executives, held talks with senior Google management in the US to pitch their state as a manufacturing location, the people said.

Google representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Indian news website Moneycontrol earlier reported Google’s plan to manufacture in Tamil Nadu.

Google said last year it will begin production of its Pixel 8 smartphones in India, without disclosing a location. Apple has shifted some iPhone production to India, and Samsung Electronics Co. also has set up assembly in the country.

Global technology players moving production to India is a potential boon for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the country undergoes elections to pick new leadership. Modi’s so-called production-linked financial incentives have helped the country attract electronics manufacturers.

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