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Vietnam again asks iPhone maker Foxconn to reduce electricity use

Vietnam at night

Manufacturers including iPhone maker Foxconn have been asked by Vietnamese officials to voluntarily cut their power usage by 30%.

Vietnam's government made a similar request of Foxconn and others in June 2023, at a point when drought in the country was reducing hydroelectric power generation. It was also a point when firms such as Foxconn were expanding their facilities as part of Apple suppliers' move away from China. That expansion has continued, and so has the strain on Vietnam's infrastructure.

According to Reuters, the demand for power led to power outages in 2023, and now to this official request for a usage reduction. Unspecified sources reportedly said that multiple manufacturers have been asked to reduce power use, though only Foxconn has been named.

The sources say that the government has phrased its request as "an encouragement". They also say that so far there has been no impact on production.

It's estimated that across May and June 2023, power shortages caused a drop in production worth $1.4 billion. The country's government has committed to preventing such power cuts, and has reportedly asked coal-fired power plants to delay maintenance until after the region's hottest months.

Following the outages in 2023, Foxconn was reported to be looking to build its own generators.

While it is suppliers moving to Vietnam that has put extra strain on the electricity supply, there have been similar situations in China. In 2022, the government there prioritized residential power supplies and selected industrial users were given periods when they were required to cease production.