Manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group is investing US$1 billion to build factories in Indonesia, in the company’s latest step to address a major handset market in Asia.
Foxconn plans to make the investment over a three to five year period, and has signed a letter of intent with the government of Indonesia, the company said Saturday.
The Taiwanese manufacturer has already sent a team to Indonesia’s capital to plan the factories. In about three months, the company will release a detailed proposal to the nation’s authorities.
Foxconn has been in talks with Indonesian officials to build the manufacturing facilities since 2012. But unlike its other factories in China that build products for international markets, these new facilities would assemble products for local Indonesian consumers.
The country is one of the largest in Asia, with 250 million people. But smartphone penetration in the nation remains low, with only about 23 percent of Indonesian mobile phone subscribers using one, according to market research group Nielsen.
Foxconn plans to build handsets, tablets and televisions for the country at the new factories and market them by partnering with electronics brands.
One smartphone company involved is BlackBerry, which said in December its partnering with Foxconn to make its products.
The two companies are jointly developing a smartphone for the Indonesian market, and the device will be produced at a factory in the country.