China manufacturing workers earn 7 times more than some workers in Africa

“China stopped being a low-cost manufacturing country many years ago,” Apple CEO Cook told the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Guangdong province, on Wednesday.

He said the key for China and other developing countries facing rising labor costs was advanced manufacturing expertise, which meant fostering a highly skilled workforce and building production processes that were “difficult to replicate elsewhere”.

China’s factory workers were getting paid an average hourly wage of $3.60 n 2016. This is 64 percent from 2011, according to market research firm Euromonitor. That’s more than five times hourly manufacturing wages in India, and is more on par with countries such as Portugal and South Africa.

As China’s economy expanded at breakneck speed, so has pay for employees. The wage increase has translated to higher costs for companies with assembly lines in China. Some firms are now taking their business elsewhere, which also means China could start losing jobs to other developing countries like Sri Lanka, where hourly factory wages are $0.50.