For China, Bullying Apple Suppliers Could Backfire Badly

China’s surprise investigation into Apple supplier Foxconn, a key link in the iPhone supply chain, may be intended to send a message. The one Apple and its suppliers actually receive might do China more harm than good.

Chinese authorities have launched tax and land-use probes into subsidiaries of Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, the company confirmed last week. That is surprising since Foxconn, which is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, has long had an amicable relationship with China—and is one of the biggest employers in the country.

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