Gadgets & Electronics, Software

No More Humans: Foxconn Deploys 40,000 Robots In China

Foxconn has deployed 40,000 robots in its factories in mainland China as it aims to reduce the number of workers at its plants creating digital devices.

Dai Chia-peng, general manager of the automation technology development committee of Foxconn, said during an interview with local Chinese media that those robots are basically made by Foxconn itself, except for some parts like servo motors and reducers that come from other parties.

Those robots were deployed to Foxconn's manufacturing base in Zhengzhou, a panel factory in Chengdu, and computer and peripherals factories in Kunshan and Jiashan.

Dai said currently Foxconn can produce 10,000 robots annually. In the future, those robots are all potential replacements for human labor. For the Kunshan factory alone, Foxconn has cut 60,000 employees.

Prior to this, labor costs in mainland China were lower than robots; therefore, Foxconn maintained nearly one million workers. However, with the increase of labor costs and the younger generation's lack of interest in production line work, many companies have launched huge investments in automation.

Dai also revealed that apart from making robots on its own, Foxconn may acquire other robot manufacturers. In addition, Foxconn plans to create robots for medical and health applications.

6 Comments

  1. Wow why don't they replace the leadership that would be a better trade. these people have no ethics or human compassion or any kind of love. They love nothing but themselves, Its a shame for the Chinese people who i emphasize with.

  2. A robot army in China is what we should all fear. A robot to usurp workers in China is nothing to fear because their population is dwindling with the failed one child policy and the idiotic bubble they've blown with their economy.

    When their bubble pops, it will mean it's time for robots to take over!!

  3. Foxconn is driven by American purchasing agents buying products from China. Robots produce higher quality products compared with human beings and if they cost less this is a good thing for American consumers. The transformation to robotic assembly is 100% driven by American demand for quality and low price: Nothing to do with greed by the company owners. Most assembly line workers are seasonal, and might work at Foxconn for a few years. These are not 'job-for-life' employees China had to deal with during the 1990's. So Foxconn won't have to fire many old employees and can just not hire new employees to transform to robotic assembly. There are literally thousands of factories in Kunshan which would be happy to hire Foxconn's workers. This is not like the USA where a factory closes and an entire town goes out of work. China has some of the best employment laws (for employees). Workers get 1 month worth of severance for every year they've worked in a factory. Layoffs are a boon to long-term employees. Finally, robotic development in China could be a boon for the USA. Apple could require Foxconn to move manufacturing to the USA (Foxconn already has factories in the USA). With robotics handling labor and reduced transportation costs Apple could literally save money building products in the USA.

  4. No more Humans. Really? Who wrote this stupid article? Foxconn has over a million employees. 40K robots is hardly going to replace all of these people.

    Manufacturing is a very competitive industry. If companies do not stay competitive, they will go out of business and all employees will loose their jobs. Foxconn is hardly the first contract manufacturer to put robots in their buildings. Many others have been doing this for many years.

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