Foxconn to replace workers with 1 million robots in 3 years

CHENGDU, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) — Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contractor, opened a new 2-billion-U.S.-dollar plant in southwest China’s Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan, Friday to manufacture laptop computers.

Hongfujin Precision Electronics (Chengdu) Co. Ltd., the factory’s owner and a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, has a registered capital of 100 million U.S. dollars.

Investment for the first phase of the plant stands at 299 million dollars, with total investment due to reach 2 billion dollars when the second and third stages of construction are complete, said Chuang Hong-Jen, a senior Foxconn executive, at a ceremony marking the opening of the plant.

He did not say how many people will be employed at the new plant or when the second-phase of construction will be complete.

Foxconn was plagued by a string of worker suicides at a factory in the southern China boom town of Shenzhen earlier this year, prompting the company to raise workers’ salaries.

“Worker compensation and benefits will be similar to those in other plants, like Shenzhen, but the salary will be adjusted according to local prices,” Chuang told Xinhua.

Li Chuncheng, Communist Party chief in Chengdu, and Huang Xiaoxiang, vice governor of Sichuan, also attended the inauguration ceremony.

The deal between Foxconn and the Chengdu municipal government was signed during the 10th Western China International Fair held from Oct. 16-20 last year in Chengdu.

Friday marked the opening of the 11th Western China International Fair.

“The new plant is the first fruit of our cooperation. Setting up plants in western China shows Foxconn takes a long-term view of its development. This is important for Foxconn’s future business,” Huang said.

Foxconn, whose parent company is the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group, makes computers, game consoles and mobile phones for companies including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Nokia.

In August, Foxconn opened a plant in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province.

The 100-million-U.S.-dollar factory, owned by Futaihua Precision Electronics (Zhengzhou) Co. Ltd., a Foxconn subsidiary, produces Apple’s iPhone.

In addition to Henan and Sichuan, Foxconn has plants in the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Hubei and Chongqing Municipality.

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