Apple CEO Tim Cook at an AirPods production line with Luxshare CEO Grace Wang (standing behind Cook) in 2017. Photos by Bloomberg; Shutterstock; Luxshare. Art by Mike Sullivan
Dec. 30, 2021 6:00 AM PST

If you’ve used an iPhone 13, an Apple Watch or AirPods, chances are you’ve touched the handiwork of Luxshare, which assembles them. Over the past decade, it became the biggest Chinese manufacturer of consumer electronics.

Luxshare got to this vaunted position because of Apple. For more than a decade Apple has been sending its engineers to teach managers at Luxshare and other Chinese firms how to build its industry-leading products, infusing them with priceless knowledge, according to interviews with nearly 20 current and former Luxshare and Apple employees and partners. It’s no coincidence that Luxshare’s rise is also part of Beijing’s ambition to develop homegrown electronics and manufacturing so it won’t have to rely on foreign-owned companies.

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