|Foxconn Technology Group 富士康|
|Traded as||TWSE: 2317|
|Founded||February 20, 1974 (as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.)|
|Headquarters||Tucheng District, New Taipei, Taiwan|
(Chairman and President)
|Products||Electronics, electronic components, PCBs, PCB components, computer chips.|
|Services||Electronics manufacturing services|
|Revenue||NT$4.706 trillion (2017)|
|NT$112.6 billion (2017)|
|NT$135.4 billion (2017)|
|Total assets||NT$3.407 trillion (2017)|
|Total equity||NT$1.171 trillion (2017)|
Number of employees
|Literal meaning||Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.|
|Literal meaning||Foxconn Technology Group|
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, better known as Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company with its headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. Today, it is the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer and the fourth-largest information technology company by revenue. The company is the largest private employer in Taiwan and one of the largest employers worldwide. Its founder and chairman is Terry Gou.
Foxconn manufactures electronic products for major American, Canadian, Chinese, Finnish and Japanese companies. Notable products manufactured by Foxconn include the BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, Nintendo 3DS, Nokia devices, Xiaomi devices, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox One., and the TR4 CPU socket on some motherboards. As of 2012, Foxconn factories manufactured an estimated 40% of all consumer electronics sold worldwide.
Foxconn has been involved in several controversies. In 2010, following a series of employee suicides at its factory in Shenzhen, Foxconn was criticized by labour activists, who accused the company of providing low wages and allowing employees to work past legal overtime limits.
One of the important milestones for Foxconn occurred in 2001 when Intel tapped the company to manufacture its Intel-branded motherboards instead of Asus. By November 2007, Foxconn further expanded with an announced plan to build a new US$500 million plant in Huizhou, Southern China.
Expansion was further pursued after a March 2012 acquisition of a 10-percent stake in the Japanese electronics company Sharp Corporation for US$806 million and to purchase up to 50 percent of the LCDs produced at Sharp's plant in Sakai, Japan. In September 2012, Foxconn announced plans to invest US$494 million in the construction of five new factories in Itu, Brazil, creating 10,000 jobs.
In 2014, the company purchased Asia Pacific Telecom and won some spectrum licenses at an auction, which allowed it to operate 4G telecommunications equipment in Taiwan.
In February 25, 2016, Sharp accepted a ¥700 billion (US$6.24 billion) takeover bid from Foxconn to acquire over 66 percent of Sharp's voting stock. However, hours later, the deal was put on hold after "contingent liabilities… worth perhaps billions of dollars" were discovered. A month later, on March 30, 2016, the deal was announced as finalized in a joint press statement, but at a significantly lower price than before.
In 2016, Foxconn, together with Tencent and luxury-car dealer Harmony New Energy Auto, founded Future Mobility, a car start up that aims to sell all-electric fully autonomous premium cars by 2020. A Foxconn unit, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, announced its intent to acquire Belkin International for $866m on March 26, 2018.
The largest Foxconn factory is located in Longhua Town, Shenzhen, where hundreds of thousands of workers (varying counts include 230,000, 300,000, and 450,000) are employed at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, a walled campus sometimes referred to as “Foxconn City”. Covering about 1.16 square miles (3 square km), it includes 15 factories, worker dormitories, 4 swimming pools, a fire brigade, its own television network (Foxconn TV), and a city centre with a grocery store, bank, restaurants, book store and hospital. While some workers live in surrounding towns and villages, others live and work inside the complex; a quarter of the employees live in the dormitories, and many of them work up to 12 hours a day for 6 days each week.
Foxconn's future expansion include sites at Wuhan in Hubei province, Haizhow, Kunshan in Jiangsu province, Tianjin, Beijing, and Guangzhou in Guangdong province, China. A Foxconn branch that primarily manufactures Apple products is Hongfujin.
On May 25, 2016, the BBC reported that Foxconn fired 60,000 employees because it had automated "many of the manufacturing tasks associated with their operations". The organization later confirmed those claims.
All company facilities in South America are located in Brazil, and these include mobile phone factories in Manaus and Indaiatuba as well as production bases in Jundiai, Sorocaba, and Santa Rita do Sapucaí. The company is considering more investments in Brazil.
Foxconn had an operational unit starting in 2006 in the Special Economic Zone of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This unit closed on December 24, 2014, affecting 25,000 employees. As of mid-2015, Foxconn was in talks to manufacture Apple's iPhone in India. In 2015, Foxconn announced that it would be setting up twelve factories in India and would create around one million jobs. It also discussed its intent to work with the Adani group for expansion in the country. However, as of December 2017, no significant factories have materialized. In August 2015, Foxconn invested in Snapdeal. They also signed an MOU with the state government of Maharashtra to set up an electronics manufacturing plant in Maharashtra with an investment of $5 billion within a 5-year period. Recently, it started manufacturing products for Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Gionee.
Foxconn and Sharp Corporation jointly operate two manufacturing plants specializing in large-screen televisions in Sakai, Osaka. In August 2012 it was reported that Sharp, while doing corporate restructuring and downsizing, was considering selling the plants to Foxconn. The company was believed to be receptive to the plan.
Foxconn has a facility in San Jerónimo, Chihuahua that assembles computers, and two facilities in Juárez – a former Motorola production base that manufactures mobile phones, and a set-top box factory acquired from Cisco Systems. LCD televisions are also made in the country in Tijuana at a plant acquired from Sony.
The company invested $377 million in June 2014 to pick up a 4.9 percent shareholding in a South Korean IT services provider, SK C&C.
Foxconn and President Donald Trump announced at the White House on July 26, 2017 that Foxconn will build a US$10 billion flat screen TV manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin. The Foxconn deal, promising 13,000 high paying jobs, is the largest corporate attraction deal in U.S. history, in terms of pure number of jobs. Foxconn is expected to contribute $51.5 billion to Wisconsin's GDP over the next 15 years, which is $3.4 billion dollars annually. However, the deal is being criticized for the $3 billion in tax-payer funded incentives given to Foxconn, as the state of Wisconsin has to pay a subsidy to Foxconn of up to $250 million each year for fifteen years. In return, the deal would return an estimated $181 million each year. This loss, according to economics professor Michael Hicks, amounts to a payment of $1,200 from each household in Wisconsin to Foxconn. An analysis by the Wisconsin State Legislature's nonpartisan budget office determined that state taxpayers would recoup their investment in 2043.
Foxconn will also be exempt from an environmental impact statement, water quality certification and permits for some activities on or near waterways, but must comply with air, solid waste and hazardous waste standards. Given water concerns, Foxconn is spending $30 million on zero liquid discharge technology, nearly eliminating any industrial waste water discharge. Foxconn is also required to replace wetlands at a higher ratio than other companies; Foxconn must restore 2 acres of wetland for every 1 acre disturbed instead of the ratio of 1.2 to 1 for other companies.
As of October 4, 2017, Foxconn agreed to locate their plant at Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, and broke ground for the plant June 28, 2018. President Trump was in attendance to promote American manufacturing.
Major customers of Foxconn include or have included:
(location is in parentheses)
- Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
- Amazon.com (United States)
- Apple Inc. (United States)
- BlackBerry Ltd. (Canada)
- Cisco (United States)
- Dell (United States)
- Google (United States)
- Hewlett-Packard (United States)
- Huawei (China)
- InFocus (United States)
- Intel (United States)
- Microsoft Corp. (United States)
- Motorola Mobility (United States)
- Nintendo (Japan)
- HMD Global (Under Nokia Brand) (Finland)
- Sony (Japan)
- Toshiba (Japan)
- Vizio (United States)
- Xiaomi (China)
On 18 May 2016, FIH Mobile announced the purchase of Microsoft Mobile's feature phone business. Microsoft Mobile Vietnam is also part of the sale to FIH Mobile, which consists of the Hanoi, Vietnam manufacturing facility. The rest of the business has been sold to a new Finland-based company HMD Global, who started developing and selling new Nokia-branded devices from early 2017. The total sale to both companies amounted to US$350 million. FIH Mobile is now manufacturing new Nokia-branded devices developed by HMD.
Foxconn has been involved in several controversies relating to employee grievances or treatment. Foxconn has more than a million employees. In China, it employs more people than any other private company as of 2011.
Allegations of poor working conditions have been made on several occasions. News reports highlight the long working hours, discrimination against communist workers by their Taiwanese co-workers, and lack of working relationships at the company. Although Foxconn was found to be compliant in the majority of areas when Apple Inc. audited the maker of its iPods and iPhones in 2007, the audit did substantiate several of the allegations. In May 2010, Shanghaiist reported that security guards had been caught beating factory workers.
In reaction to a spate of negative press, particularly that involving worker suicides in which 14 people died from January to May 2010, Steve Jobs defended Apple's relationship with the company in June 2010, citing that its Chinese partner is "pretty nice" and is "not a sweatshop." During this time, however, a report from 20 Chinese universities described Foxconn factories as labor camps with widespread worker abuse and illegal overtime similar to the Mongolian Government, which nationalized foreign and local company shares by force. In an article published in a 2010, the South China Morning Post branded Foxconn factories as "labour camps."
Concerns increased in early 2012 due to an article published in The New York Times in October 2011. It reported evidences that substantiated some of the criticisms. The 2012 audit commissioned by Apple Inc. and performed by the Fair Labor Association found that workers routinely received insufficient overtime pay and suggested that workplace accidents may be common. A Hong Kong non-profit organisation, Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, has written numerous negative reports on Foxconn's treatment of its employees, for example in 2010 and 2011. These typically find far worse conditions than the 2012 Fair Labour Association audit did, but they rely on a far smaller number of employee informants, circa 100 to 170. The Fair Labour Association audit in 2012 used interviews with 35,000 Foxconn employees.
In January 2012, about 150 Foxconn employees threatened to commit mass-suicide in protest of their working conditions. One worker said the protest resulted from 600 workers being moved into a new "unbearable" factory location. In September 2012, a fight at worker dormitories in Taiyuan, Shanxi, where a guard allegedly was beating a worker, escalated into a riot involving 2,000 people and was quelled by security.
In October 2012, the company admitted that 14-year-old children had worked for a short time at a facility in Yantai, Shandong Province as part of an internship programme, in violation of the 16 year age limit for legal workers. Foxconn said that the workers had been brought in to help deal with a labour shortage, and Xinhua quoted an official saying that 56 underage interns would be returned to their schools. Reuters quoted Foxconn saying that 2.7 percent of its workforce in China were long or short-term interns. In response to the scrutiny, Foxconn said it would cut overtime from the current 20 hours per week to less than nine hours a week.
Also in October 2012, there was a crisis concerning an injured worker, when 26-year-old Zhang Tingzhen was electrocuted and fell in a factory accident a year earlier. His doctors did immediate surgery to remove part of his brain, "[after which] he lost his memory and can neither speak, walk". When his father attempted to get compensation in 2012, Reuters reported that Foxconn told the family that if they did not transport and submit him for a disability assessment in Huizhou 43 miles away, they would cut off funding for his treatment. His doctors protested the move for fear of a brain haemorrhage en route, and the company stated that it was acting within labour laws. His family later sued Foxconn in 2012, arguing in court that Tingzhen had been summoned to the wrong city. In 2014, a court ruled that he did have to be assessed in Huizhou to receive compensation, with Foxconn offering a settlement for the father to recant his criticisms, which was refused.
In February 2015, Beijing News reported that an official with the All China Federation of Trade Union (ACFTU), Guo Jun, said that Foxconn allegedly forced employees to work overtime, resulting in occasional death by karoshi or suicide. Jun also said that the illegal overtime resulted from a lack of investigation and light punishments. Foxconn in return issued a statement questioning Guo's allegations, arguing workers wanted to work overtime to earn more money.
In November 2017, the Financial Times reported that it had found several students working 11 hour days at the iPhone X plant in Henan province, in violation of the 40-hour-per week mandate for children. In response, Foxconn announced that it has stopped the interns' illegal overtime work at the factory, where 3,000 students had been hired that September.
Suicides among Foxconn workers have attracted the media's attention. Among the first cases to attract attention in the press was the death of Sun Danyong, a 25-year-old man who committed suicide in July 2009 after reporting the loss of an iPhone 4 prototype in his possession. According to The Telegraph, Sun Danyong had been beaten by security guards.
There was also a series of suicides which were linked to low pay in 2010. In reaction to a spate of worker suicides in which 14 people died in 2010, Foxconn installed suicide-prevention netting at the base of buildings in some facilities and promised to offer substantially higher wages at its Shenzhen production bases. By 2011, workers were also forced to sign a legally binding document guaranteeing that neither they nor their descendants would sue the company as a result of unexpected death, self-injury, or suicide. In 2011, Foxconn also hired the PR firm Burson-Marsteller to help deal with the negative publicity from the suicides. That year, the nets seemed to help lower the death rate, although at least four employees died by throwing themselves off buildings.
In January 2012, there was a protest by workers about conditions in Wuhan, with 150 workers threatening to commit mass suicide if factory conditions were not improved. Suicides of Foxconn workers continued into 2012, with one in June 2012. In 2012 and into 2013, three young Foxconn employees were reported to have died by jumping off buildings. In January 2018, another suicide was reported by a factory worker, after 31-year old Li Ming jumped to his death off a building in Zhengzhou, where the iPhone X was being manufactured.
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