Foxconn on mass recruitment in China, puts 'robot' plan in question

Summary:Foxconn reportedly is on a recruitment drive to hire over 90,000 workers in China, putting into question its previous plan to deploy 1 million robots by 2014.

Foxconn reportedly is looking to recruit more than 90,000 workers for its Shenzhen factory, putting more question marks on the company's previous plan to deploy 1 million robots by 2014.

According to a Yi Cai report Friday, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer is beefing up its pool of skilled workers. It cited a staff at Foxconn's Shenzhen recruitment center who declined to be named: "We are keeping things very low-key during this recruitment drive."

The latest development follows another massive recruitment exercise for its inland factory in Zhengzhou earlier this year, which seems to contradict Foxconn CEO Guo Taiming's plan to replace manpower by installing 1 million robots across its factories.

"There are huge hurdles if Foxconn wants to push forward its 1 million robot plan," a robotics technology provider for Foxconn noted in the Yi Cai report. He estimated Foxconn probably installed fewer than 100,000 robotic pieces since Guo shared his vision for factory automation in 2011, with plans to increase the company's robot count by 100-fold from 10,000 to 1 million by 2014. 

The source from Foxconn said the company needed more time to push forward the automation process and, for the time being, would choose the comparatively cheap labor in mainland China as its first choice.

Topics: IT Employment, China, Hardware

About

Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor.He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Severn News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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