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iPhone XS Max. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

iPhone assembler Foxconn says it has the capacity to manufacture Apple products outside of China if U.S.-China trade relations escalate, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters, per Axios' Ina Fried: Nearly all iPhones are currently made in China, presenting a huge risk for Apple. Having a solid plan B is a good thing given the unpredictability of U.S.-China trade relations.

Driving the news: President Trump has threatened China with new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods — which would inevitably affect Apple — if President Xi Jinping is a no-show at the upcoming G20 summit.

Backdrop: Apple is already feeling the effects of China's slumping economy. The company had to mark down its Q4 revenue expectations in January, attributing it in part to the ongoing trade war.

  • Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is Apple's most important manufacturer.
  • Board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu said in an investor briefing in Taipei on Tuesday that the company will support Apple if it decides to move production, though no decisions have been made.
  • It's unclear which manufacturing plants would assume the majority of the company's relocated production. India's facility is currently running quality tests for Apple's iPhone XR series, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: Corporations are fleeing global chaos

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 mins ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.