Foxconn denies weak iPhone demand led to hiring freeze

Foxconn denies weak iPhone demand led to hiring freeze

Summary: Taiwanese contract manufacturer freezes hiring at its largest China plant in Shenzhen and slows down hiring at other factories, but it says the move is not due to weak iPhone 5 demand.


Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Foxconn, has halted hiring activities at its Shenzhen plant which makes gadgets such as Apple iPhone 5 device, and slowed down recruitment at other Chinese factories. The company, however, has flatly denied weak iPhone 5 demand prompted the move.

"Due to an unprecedented rate of return of employees following the Chinese New Year holiday, compared to years past, our company has decided to temporarily slow down our recruitment process," Foxconn said in a statement, according to a Reuters report Thursday. "This action is not related to any single customer, and any speculation to the contrary is false and inaccurate."

Foxconn denies it slowed hiring at Chinese factories due to weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone 5.

The report said the comment was a response to a Financial Times report on Wednesday which said the Taiwanese manufacturer had imposed a hiring freeze in China as it saw slowing production of iPhone 5.

Foxconn, which is the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, runs a network of factories in China which make products for several tech companies including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.

Most of its workers are migrant laborers from China who recently journeyed home for the Chinese New Year holiday which began February 10 and lasted a week. According to Foxconn spokesperson Louis Woo, as many as 97 percent of its employees had returned to work, Reuters said.

The report added that a Foxconn recruitment center in Shenzhen was closed on Thursday.

Apple sold less-than-expected 47.8 million iPhones during the year-end holiday quarter of 2012, which fueled concerns its dominant market share was increasingly chewed away by rival handset makers running Google's Android operating system, according to the report.

Last month, Foxconn said it expected to face a net loss in the second half of 2012 due to weakening demand from its customers.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Smartphones, China, IT Employment

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Apple proopaganda

    This story is an excellent case study in Apple apologetics and corporate counter-propaganda.

    Demand for Apple products is declining.
    Tim Acheson
    • It's funny how the actual facts contradict you...

      You know...facts like the fact that the 47.8 million iPhones sold in the in the quarter was a record, up from 37 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold a record 22.9 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter. So...the actual facts indicate increasing demand...not a decline.

      I really don't understand your need to feel better about yourself by bashing Apple especially with bald statements that are flatly contradicted by the facts. Perhaps, Mr. Acheson, you should seek help.
      • To be honest I don't work at Foxconn

        But if Apple are boasting record profits and sales again, their supplier must be doing something wrong not to be sharing that.

        It could be that they are, as previously mentioned looking to invest overseas like some of the othe fabs. Personally I suspect it may be their PC manufacturing arm that's taking a hit... Those other 'customers' mentioned aren't doing too well at the moment.

        Either that or they finally managed to replace all the kids they had to let go and positions are filled...
      • Errr.....

        Can we have some links to your propoganda.... errr. figures?
        If Apple is doinmg so well with sales, why did Apple stock dip below $500/share after being at $700/share at one point last year?
  • Why Deny Something If Nobody Is Actually Saying It?

    This is the kind of denial that is instantly disbelieved.
  • Wierd

    So is he saying they failed to gear up for the expected demand, so don't need to slow down when that expected demand didn't materialize?
    Like other commenters above, I think its probably related to the slow-down in desktop PCs and laptops. He's shooting himself in the foot making an unsolicited statement like this.
    I'll bet he further clarifies by saying its not related to slowdown in sales from any of its customers (he kind of did already). He's trying not to offend any of his customers by suggesting that demand for their particular product is down.
  • Re: Weird,

    "He's shooting himself in the foot making an unsolicited statement like this."@radleym.

    "The report said the comment was a response to a Financial Times report on Wednesday"

    It was right there in the article, as to why the comment was made, you must have missed it!