Business / Companies

Foxconn replaces 60,000 workers with robots

(People's Daily Online) Updated: 2016-05-27 10:29

Foxconn replaces 60,000 workers with robots

An arc welding robot is displayed at the World Robot Conference 2015 in Beijing, on Nov 24, 2015. [Photo/IC]

Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has cut employees in one of its factories from 110,000 to 50,000. The company was able to reduce its labor costs thanks to the introduction of robots, a government official of Kunshan, Jiangsu province revealed.

Within one decade, 47 percent of assembly work will be taken over by robots, and the company already has one factory operating smoothly without lights, said Foxconn's chairman Terry Gou at a summit in Guiyang on May 25.

But Gou stressed that Foxconn will not cut all of its 1 million employees, because cloud maintenance and certain machines are still dependent on human workers to perform properly.

Nevertheless, with so many manual jobs being replaced by machines, the reduction of total employees is already obvious.

A survey by the Kunshan government shows that up to 600 local enterprises plan to utilize robots in the near future. Last year, 35 Taiwan enterprises invested 4 billion yuan in artificial intelligence technology.

There are a total of 4,800 Taiwan companies in Kunshan, accounting for 60 percent of the city's GDP. Kunshan is also the world's manufacturing center for laptops. At one point there were up to 120 million laptops being made annually in the city, but the number is currently only 51 million.

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