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Homeward bound? Firms mull return

By Shen Jingting, Chen Limin and Tuo Yannan  (China Daily)

14:50, July 23, 2012

Tim Cook (left), chief executive officer of Apple Inc, visiting the iPhone production line at the Foxconn Technology Group facility in Zhengzhou, in Central China's Henan province. Apple Inc now outsources most of its manufacturing to Taiwan-based Foxconn. (Photo/ China Daily)

Rising labor costs and cheaper US energy drive some companies back

It has taken 25 years to evolve from the brick-like dageda (big brother's handset) to the slim iPhone currently in vogue.

The first mobile phone, the Motorola 3200, entered the Chinese market in 1987 and marked the start of a craze that now sees them in nearly everyone's possession.

It is similar for other electronic products that first made their way to China from foreign companies and then began to be produced here en masse because of the country's huge and relatively cheap labor.

Soon the Middle Kingdom became the global manufacturing center after Japan. A random search of electronic products on a retailer's shelves now inevitably reveals "Made-in-China" labels or, at least, components produced in the country.

Now, however, some overseas companies are considering moving their manufacturing facilities out of China.

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