China reportedly met with tech companies in recent days, telling them not to comply with US orders that would dramatically affect their Chinese manufacturing plans. It allegedly threatened serious consequences, although it didn’t outline what those were.
The safety net could be vital for Apple, not to mention for millions of people who could suddenly be cut off from future iPhones. However, this doesn’t guarantee that Apple or other companies would be safe. Even if Apple can keep relying on Foxconn outside of China, some of its individual component suppliers are still located in the region — there could be trouble if any of those partners are cut off. And even a quick transition could still choke production at a critical moment if it happens anywhere near the release of new iPhones. While Apple might avoid the worst, its situation could still be far from ideal.