Manufacturer In China To 'Employ' 1M Robots

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Manufacturer In China To 'Employ' 1M Robots

Post by Isakenaz on Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:03 am

A Taiwanese manufacturer of parts for Apple, Nokia and Dell is planning to replace staff on assembly lines in its Chinese factories with robots.

Foxconn also counts Hewlett-Packard and Sony Ericsson amongst its clients.

The company presently "employs" 10,000 robots, but plans to increase this to 300,000 in 2012 and one million by 2014, its chairman was quoted as saying in the China Business News.

A source close to the company confirmed the comments, and said an announcement was made just before a staff event on a Friday night.

Analysts say rising labour costs in China are prompting some manufacturers to move towards greater automation.

"This year's wage increase has been quite significant and I do not expect the pace to slow down next year," said CK Lu, a Taipei-based senior analyst at research firm Gartner.

"If they do not do this, they will have to move their factories elsewhere."

Foxconn currently employs around 1.2 million workers, one million of whom are based in mainland China.

In March, it reported a net loss of \$218.3m in 2010 - about eight per cent lower than the previous year.

Staff suicides have been reported at a number of Foxconn's Chinese factories since 2010.

At least 13 employees died last year, which activists blamed on tough working conditions, although this was disputed by the firms concerned.

Labour-related issues are becomingf an increasing problem in China where strikes have hit car factories run by Honda and Toyota in the past year.

To the future. cheers

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