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Hon Hai needs another 50,000 workers in China for Q1

2019/01/22 20:44:45

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., one of the most important iPhone assemblers in the world, said Tuesday it is looking to hire 50,000 workers in the first quarter in China.

International media recently reported that Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn in the global market, has laid off about 50,000 seasonal employees in China since October 2018 due to low demand for the latest iPhones.

Although Hon Hai did not directly respond to the layoff reports, it said the company adjusts the workforce at its global production sites from time to time based on investment strategies and customer demand.

In a statement, Hon Hai said it will recruit more than 50,000 workers at its plants in China during the January-March period.

According to a report in Nikkei Asian Review, an industry source was quoted as saying Hon Hai has laid off about 50,000 workers at its Zhengzhou plant, which mainly rolls out iPhones for Apple Inc., since October.

The report came after Apple cut its sales for the first quarter from an earlier forecast of US$89-US$93 billion to US$84 billion due to weaker than expected demand for the latest iPhones, which were unveiled in September 2018.

The downgrade in Apple's sales largely reflect falling demand in China, the U.S. consumer electronics giant said.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Hon Hai has adjusted its recruitment plan by taking into account the weakness of the global economy at a time of trade tension between the United States and China.

In the statement, Hon Hai said it will continue to push for a business revamp by focusing more on industrial Internet development and strengthening smart manufacturing to boost its competitive edge.

Earlier this month, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said at an economic forum held in Shenzhen that his company now uses 100,000 robots in its production bases in China as part of an effort to move into the smart production era. With 100,000 robots running in Foxconn's unmanned factories, Gou said, the company is better able to adapt to the fast changing global market and give itself a chance to grow further.

According to Gou, about 99 percent of Hon Hai's products made in China were sold overseas from 1988-2018, when the company's exports from China totaled US$1.0157 trillion.

Despite falling demand for iPhones, Hon Hai still reported NT$1.81 trillion (US$58.77 billion) in consolidated sales for the fourth quarter, the highest quarter in the company's history.

For 2018, Hon Hai's consolidated sales also hit a new high of NT$5.296 trillion.

Analysts said after capital reduction, Hon Hai is expected to post about NT$8 in earnings per share for 2018, little changed from NT$8.01 posted in 2017.

(By Chung Jung-feng and Frances Huang)