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