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Chinese premier visits Foxconn, suggests Apple assembler refocus on China rather than US

China Premier Li Keqiang visited a Foxconn production center, and reportedly told the Apple partner's CEO to set up its "whole industrial chain" in China, rather than expanding further into other countries like the U.S.

Li visited Foxconn's Zhengzhou facility on May 9, following Foxconn chairman Terry Gou's visit to the U.S. According to multiple reports out of China, Li reportedly told Gou that the Chinese government will continue its efforts to make a business-friendly environment, and that Foxconn should sustain focus on China, rather than in other countries.

"We will continue to expand our development, and optimize the business environment," Li said during the visit. "China has a huge market and lots of talent, it is the best investment place for expanding manufacturing."

Li Keqiang is the current Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. He is one of the leading figures behind the country's economic policy, a reformist calling for lighter governmental involvement in Chinese business, and is the second-ranked member of the Communist Party of China.

Foxconn had no additional comment on U.S. investment following the meeting, but said in a statement to Reuters that it was committed to investing in China.

In January, Gou revealed Foxconn was considering a joint $7 billion investment with Apple that would go toward the creation of U.S. display production plant. It was later reported that Foxconn subsidiary Sharp would take a lead role in running the plant. Gou last month expressed concerns over building displays in the U.S., however, citing a lack of government incentives, supply chain hurdles and labor issues.

More recently, Gou met with President Donald Trump at the end of April. Specific details of the meeting remain unavailable, but the two-day long discussion reportedly centered on job creation, the sale of Toshiba's memory chip business, and investment in the U.S.

Following the second day of meetings at the White House, Gou said that the company was "planning a number of investments" in the U.S. While the scope of the investments aren't known, Gou also noted that they would "include both capital-intensive and skilled labor-intensive and high-tech investment."

Gou's meeting was allegedly arranged with the assistance of SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son, who himself met Trump in 2016. At the time the President touted SoftBank's commitment of $50 billion to U.S. operations as part of the "vision fund," which could create up to 50,000 new jobs. Apple has invested $1 billion into the Softbank fund.