Extending the saga even further, Western Digital has notified Toshiba's board of directors that it formally opposes Toshiba's sale of its memory division to any group that has ties to its primary competitor SK Hynix — and the favored consortium is relying on funding from it.
Refuting speculation that the deal to buy Toshiba's memory division is effectively done. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou declared on Friday that he expects that his company still has a '"50 percent chance" of winning.
Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, is reportedly planning to invest $10 billion or more across several U.S. states, although the company is still deciding on which ones — including where to put a $7 billion display plant.
Toshiba has chosen a consortium formed by Bain Capital, Mitsubishi, and Japanese government investors as the preferred bidder for its memory chip business, effectively locking out a Foxconn-led consortium including the likes of Apple and Dell.
Sources claim that Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has set its sights on Wisconsin as a location for its U.S. plant — but governmental sources in the state note that any firm deal is still some time away.
Apple, Dell, and Kingston are currently the three other partners in a Foxconn-led group bidding for Toshiba's memory unit — though still more tech firms may sign on with just days to go, according to Foxconn's chairman.
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.
Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, is indeed planning to make some form of investment in the U.S., but the exact details are yet to be finalized, the latter company's chairman confirmed on Friday.
Terry Gou, chairman of Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, will reportedly meet with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, where the pair are likely to discuss U.S. job creation and a pending bid for Toshiba's chip business.
The state-supported Innovation Network Corp of Japan may pursue a minority stake in Toshiba's memory business, allowing the government to block the sale of a majority stake to businesses deemed risky to national security — including two Apple suppliers, according to a report.
According to the latest industry whispers surrounding the sale Toshiba's semiconductor unit, Apple is considering investing several billion dollars in a bid that would give it and partner investor Foxconn a more than 20 percent stake in the business.
Three Apple suppliers — Hon Hai/Foxconn, SK Hynix, and Broadcom — are reportedly dogged in their determination to bid for Toshiba's memory business, despite strong preferences by both Toshiba and the Japanese government for a domestic buyer.
Toshiba has reportedly shrunk the group of bidders for its memory business from about 10 to a number that may no longer include Apple, though no binding offers have been made, and more bidders could potentially join.
The Japanese government is preparing to vet the security of potential bidders for a majority stake in Toshiba's memory business — something that could give U.S. companies an edge, but stop Apple suppliers Foxconn and TSMC, a report said on Friday.
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has yet to decide whether or not to proceed with plans to jointly invest in a $7 billion facility in the U.S., with Chairman Terry Gou expressing concerns over government incentives, supply chain issues, and a shortage of skilled labor in the country.