Foxconn, Apple’s biggest iPhone assembler, has prematurely laid off 50,000 contract workers in China. According to a source, layoffs began in October, much earlier than normal for the company’s China-based factories. Typically, assembly line employees don’t leave their posts until the end of the year, the source said.
The news comes after Tim Cook’s admission that Apple is losing ground in its biggest market, China. While that’s in part due to the ongoing trade war, it’s also a result of high prices and competition from domestic brands. Earlier this month, Apple cut its production targets for this quarter by 10% due to flagging sales. Along with price cuts on platforms such as e-commerce JD.com, it may hope to recover some of its lost ground in a now-saturated market.