Apple has moved production of its high-end Mac Pro from the US to China, despite President Donald Trump's threat of another round of tariffs on electronics imports from China.
Until now the Mac Pro has been the only one of the company's computers that undergoes final assembly in the US.
The shift in production, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as Apple tries to breathe new life into the product, which was relaunched last month with a price tag starting at US$5999 and a new "cheese grater" look.
Apple refused to confirm the move, but played down the significance of shifting final assembly for one of its products.
It said the Mac Pro was "designed and engineered in California and includes components from several countries including the United States."
It added that last year it paid US$60 billion to different suppliers across the US, supporting 2 million jobs.
The final assembly represents only a small part of the value of a machine, but has greater political and symbolic importance.
Trump has promoted the idea of Apple moving iPhone assembly to the US, for instance.
Chief executive Tim Cook announced in late 2012 that the company would be bringing final assembly of the Mac line from China to the US, along with an investment of $100m to back the move.
Putting Mac Pro production back in China comes at a time when Apple, like other US electronics companies, have been looking at ways of diversifying their supply chain to reduce their reliance on manufacturing there.
Trump u-turns on Huawei ban and will restart trade talks
The company has asked its suppliers in China to look into the cost implications of moving 15-30 per cent of their capacity there to other countries, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
At the G20 meeting in Japan, US President Donald Trump said trade talks with China would resume.
Trump also said American suppliers could sell to the company provided there was no national security problem, u-turning on his decision in May to add Huawei to a trade blacklist.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019