A couple of months back, Foxconn revealed that it had plans to replace a portion of its staff with one million robots in an effort to cut down on rising labor costs. Xinhua News Agency said at the time that Foxconn was already using 10,000 robots. The electronics giant is said to be aiming for 300,000 next year and one million in three years time.
Now it would appear that these plans are inching forward. In late October, the Focus Taiwarn news agency (via Cnet) reported that Terry Gou had signed a letter of intent with Taichung Mayor Jason Hu. This letter outlined Foxconn parent company Hon Hai Precision's plan to build an "intelligent robotics kingdom" at the Central Taiwan Science Park park in the coming years. Focus Taiwan cites Gou as saying the project is expected to generate an estimated NT$120 billion ($4 billion) in production value in the next three to five years and create about 2,000 jobs.
Foxconn currently employs over 900,000 people in its factories. Gou said in August that the robots would be performing simple tasks such as spraying, welding and assembling. These are all tasks currently carried out by human employees.