Above: a worker at Foxconn in Longhua, Guangdong province, China. Credit: Reuters/Fair use.
Production-line workers making iPhones at Foxconn (the company that makes the iPhone for Apple), in China, are paid about 2100 yuan, or $300 per month. (A reasonable living wage in China.) If Apple had to make its own products, and in the USA, the wages for a production-line worker would be around $600 per week or $2400 per month. Making the phones up in China saves Apple about $2100 per worker, per month.
The basic technology in all this is the container ship--the vast and efficient cargo ships that are used to move finished product back to the main Western markets. This example is indicative of the wider trend. This is what globalization is all about: saving money on the wages bill.
(2 March 2019)