A battle for talent is heating up for the 160,000 workers who assemble Apple's products in Vietnam, with a top iPhone assembler crying foul over how its Chinese rivals are attempting to attract cheap labor.

The CEO of the world's largest iPhone maker said on Saturday that his competitors in China were setting up campuses to get closer to their workers.

"Our competitors bought a piece of land next to ours so that they could ride on our coattails and steal our talents with high salaries," he said.

According to the outlet, the company's Bac Ninh City campus currently employs around 60,000 workers, but that will be increased over the next two years.

Insider asked for comments from Foxconn, but they didn't reply immediately.

China-based manufacturers have been grappling with increasing production costs in the country and many are attracted by Vietnam for its abundance of cheap and skilled labor.

More Apple products will be assembled in Vietnam. The iPad will be produced in Vietnam by BYD. According to an Apple analyst, Goertek and Luxshare are setting up shops in Vietnam to make AirPods.

Currently there are 31 companies in Vietnam that produce Apple products.

Apple is looking to reduce its dependence on China for product assembly. The need to minimize the impact of US-China trade tensions prompted Apple to request that Foxconn make MacBooks and iPad in Southeast Asia.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Apple's push into Vietnam was due to China's stance on COVID-19. According to the company, China's COVID-19 restrictions could cost it up to $8 billion in revenue for the current quarter. The city of Shenzhen tried to deal with a spike in COVID-19 cases and had to shut down operations in Shenzhen for a few days.