Foxconn invests $4.4 billion to make iPhone screens in central China

Foxconn leads the wave of foreign investment in manufacturing chains in inland Chinese provinces such as Henan.

The Taiwanese technology company Foxconn will pour as much as 28 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) into Zhengzhou, capital of inland province Henan, to produce low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) screens for iPhones, as reported by Chinese media on Monday.

Foxconn-owned Ying Hui Limited signed an investment deal with the Zhengzhou Economic Development authority last Saturday, with the company expecting to launch its first LTPS screen production lines in 2017 and start large-scale production in 2018, according to local newspaper Dong Fang Jin Bao.

The company said the investment project will not only provide future generations of iPhones with LTPS screens at a rate of 20,000 units a month, but also stimulate the upstream and downstream manufacturing supply chains inside Henan, and transform the traditionally less-developed province into an high-tech industry hub.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou noted during the event that the company will "actively respond" to the central government's call to make Henan one of the most advanced and prominent provinces in terms of manufacturing.

While exports and manufacturing have slowed in China as a whole, inland provinces such as Henan are actually on the way up, thanks to more foreign investment.

A Henan Business Report has indicated that during the first three quarters of 2015, the import and export volume of Henan was recorded at almost 310 billion yuan ($48.7 billion), an increase of 21.2 percent over same period last year.