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One Million Robots to Take Over Jobs of Foxconn Workers

By - Source: Xinhua News Agency | B 86 comments

Foxconn aims to use one million robots in three years time as part of an effort to tackle rising labor costs.

Foxconn's employment practices often make the news and the company last week hit the headlines once again. This time, it's the company's intention to use robots to replace some of its staff that has chins wagging. Xinhua News Agency cites Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou as saying the company plans to replace a portion of its staff with one million robots to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency. According to Xinhua, Foxconn currently uses 10,000 robots. the electronics giant aims to up this number to 300,000 next year and one million in three years time.

Foxconn currently employs over 900,000 people in its factories. Gou says the robots will be performing simple tasks such as spraying, welding and assembling. These are all tasks currently carried out by human employees.

Reuters cites Gartner analyst C.K. Lu who says thanks to sharply rising employment costs, Foxconn essentially has no choice but to replace workers with robots.

"Rising salary costs should be the key reason why Foxconn is doing this. This year's wage increase has been quite significant and I don't expect the pace to slow down next year," Lu said, adding, "If they don't do this, they will have to move their factories elsewhere."

Further Reading

Xinhua News Agency: Foxconn to replace workers with 1 million robots in 3 years

Reuters: Foxconn to rely more on robots; could use 1 million in 3 years

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Top Comments
  • 48 Hide
    buzznut , August 7, 2011 4:15 AM
    So..how long before the robots start jumping out the windows?
  • 28 Hide
    MasterMace , August 7, 2011 4:32 AM
    Robots are pretty dumb, so it might take 2 years for them to jump out instead of 1.
  • 23 Hide
    kinggraves , August 7, 2011 4:38 AM
    Robots making computers...how long until Foxconn changes it's name to Skynet?

    Still, considering China practically drops these people into their jobs and expects them to do it for life, what happens to the laid off employees? They'd better install some trampolines because there's going to be a lot of jumping.
Other Comments
    Display all 86 comments.
  • 48 Hide
    buzznut , August 7, 2011 4:15 AM
    So..how long before the robots start jumping out the windows?
  • 28 Hide
    MasterMace , August 7, 2011 4:32 AM
    Robots are pretty dumb, so it might take 2 years for them to jump out instead of 1.
  • 11 Hide
    dstln , August 7, 2011 4:33 AM
    Poor foxconn. Whatever would happen if they'd have to pay workers wages that don't make them want to kill themselves.

    Of course the end buyers don't care either way.
  • 23 Hide
    kinggraves , August 7, 2011 4:38 AM
    Robots making computers...how long until Foxconn changes it's name to Skynet?

    Still, considering China practically drops these people into their jobs and expects them to do it for life, what happens to the laid off employees? They'd better install some trampolines because there's going to be a lot of jumping.
  • 18 Hide
    freggo , August 7, 2011 4:41 AM
    Time for Foxconn to find a low wage country for outsourcing!
    Welcome to the club :-)
  • 7 Hide
    jj463rd , August 7, 2011 5:09 AM
    kinggravesRobots making computers...how long until Foxconn changes it's name to Skynet?Still, considering China practically drops these people into their jobs and expects them to do it for life, what happens to the laid off employees? They'd better install some trampolines because there's going to be a lot of jumping.


    Nothing really amazing about it.I remember reading about Apple Computers building a automated robotic factory to produce the Macintosh all the way back in the early 1980's in California.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=mXnw5tM8QRwC&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170&dq=Sand+Macintosh+factory&source=bl&ots=PxEoa26p4M&sig=VlECF2GPxMZlbTpSyF1bOstLAbI&hl=en&ei=wx0-Tp-_B4nXiALXh9zDBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Sand%20Macintosh%20factory&f=false
  • 17 Hide
    Azn Cracker , August 7, 2011 5:18 AM
    The Chinese are too damn expensive!
  • 20 Hide
    bokuden , August 7, 2011 6:21 AM
    Time to move the factories to Ethiopia!
  • 6 Hide
    wintermint , August 7, 2011 6:41 AM
    buzznutSo..how long before the robots start jumping out the windows?


    Nice one! But seriously.. they don't deserve to be overworked like this :x
  • 15 Hide
    randomizer , August 7, 2011 7:16 AM
    Quote:
    Reuters cites Gartner analyst C.K. Lu who says thanks to sharply rising employment costs, Foxconn essentially has no choice but to replace workers with robots.

    Option #2 was replace executives with robots.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , August 7, 2011 7:30 AM
    Yeah, Foxconn, why pay decent wages to people so that everyone in the country lives a decent life when you can fire them all and get 1,234,123,213 robots, triple your profit while 1,000,000 people are out of a job and poorer than ever. GOOD JOB, that's how this world will prosper, the rich get even richer and the poor get even poorer.
  • -7 Hide
    demonhorde665 , August 7, 2011 7:40 AM
    buzznutSo..how long before the robots start jumping out the windows?



    my thoughts , too , wiat till teh robots become sentiant , then they will start jumping also .. but jokes aside , seriously , LOL this ahs to do with rises wages??? MY A-- more liek foxconn wants awork force that doesn't kil it's self LOL
  • 0 Hide
    ikyung , August 7, 2011 7:55 AM
    So American workers -> Chinese workers -> Robots. Seems like a logical transaction.
  • 10 Hide
    AMD X6850 , August 7, 2011 8:06 AM
    Quote:
    "If they don't do this, they will have to move their factories elsewhere."


    Moving factories out of China?
  • 11 Hide
    leon2006 , August 7, 2011 8:46 AM
    Vietnam is cheaper...
    The labor in Western China is cheaper
    The labor in Africa is cheaper
  • 1 Hide
    ralfthedog , August 7, 2011 8:47 AM
    With the Treasury downgrade, they may be thinking about moving to America for cheap workers.

    Even without the total collapse of the US government, if they were able to someday make a totally automated factory, it would be cheaper to build it in the United States where they sell most of their iPhones. They would save in shipping cost.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 7, 2011 9:06 AM
    How much would it cost to make, design, and maintain robots to say with the idea of labor costs?

    5k computers(system) plus must be cheaper now then then of course. Guess you can say can't wait till they are "employed" for the idea of what anything would cost for what they are making. Yes?

    Might as well get say the latest computer(system) now at an even cheaper price for now, then what later might be, because, the value set of it then for what it is worth might actually only cost that for the same system, with advancements or not. Would incline great care of course, but might meet warranty "deadlines" to say. Decent care maybe, idk. For warranty or the like.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 7, 2011 9:15 AM
    K-zon:

    How much would it cost to make, design, and maintain robots to say with the idea of labor costs?

    5k computers(system) plus must be cheaper now then then of course. Guess you can say can't wait till they are "employed" for the idea of what anything would cost for what they are making. Yes?

    Might as well get say the latest computer(system) now at an even cheaper price for now, then what later might be, because, the value set of it then for what it is worth might actually only cost that for the same system, with advancements or not. Would incline great care of course, but might meet warranty "deadlines" to say. Decent care maybe, idk. For warranty or the like.

    Another post, loginning doesnt seem to be working. Tried to send something to the Moderators. Hopefully something went through.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 7, 2011 9:26 AM
    It's funny... I can't remember the source but I seem to recall hearing that even if Apple (Foxconn makes all of the "i" products) moved all of their production to the U.S. and had to paid the workers minimum wage, they'd still be making 50% profit off every unit sold.

    I can see how Foxconn would be upset at the 'rising' wages. Paying people 3 even 4 dollars an hour is completely outrageous... The next thing you know, the workers are going to want to work less than 16 hour days.... sheesh...
  • -4 Hide
    beetlejuicegr , August 7, 2011 9:36 AM
    Foxconn is evil guys. Now that you mentioned "apple" i will tell you one thing. A friend had a mini-mac and had no sound. Not even a sound device was seeing in the OS. So i opened it to see what is going on...the board responsible for the minijacks of the sound card was FOXCONN!! and ofc it was glued with silicon glue really bad way...FOXCONN IS EVIL!! even APPLE is using stuff from foxconn that they suck anyway.
    Some years ago my brother didnt ask my opinion and bought a cheap motherboard from...foxconn...it went dead in 5 months...
    A motherboard from..asus i think, had a fan on the chipset made from foxconn...it died in 2 months...

    I really dont like foxconn, i feel its not to be trusted in their hardware...
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