60,000 Workers In A Chinese Tech-Company Lose Their Jobs To Robots


Apple partner and supplier has reduced the company’s human labor capacity to as low as 50, 000 workers. About 60,000 Foxconn workers have been replaced with robots.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs,” -Xu Yulian, Foxconn Publicist, Kunshan.

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He says more companies are likely to follow their footsteps in order to cut cost. It seems he might just be right after all. A Chinese government survey proves that about 600 more companies in Kushan are seriously working towards it.

Kushan is the Silicon valley of China when it comes to electronics. This is the hub of major tech-companies in China. For instance, there are about 4,800 Taiwanese companies(including Foxconn) contributing over 60% to China’s GDP.

Most Chinese tech-companies are evidently investing in robotics. In 2014, more than 500 factories in Guangdong province had already invested about £430 million in robots. The Iphone manufacturer has confirmed that the company is applying robotics engineering in its factory.

“We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control.” Foxconn

While employing robotics in the workforce is good news for tech-firms, it might not exactly be fun for the thousands of Foxconn workers who have lost their jobs to automated computers. How will this impact China’s labor force and economy per capita? Economists warn that this will adversely affect the job market and will most likely increase unemployment.

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Personalities such as computer science professor, Moshe Vardi had predicted the recent robotic development as it affects human productivity. An Oxford University study indicates that China is not the only country to replace human workers with robots. The study shows that except in the health sector, about 35% of UK jobs face the possibility of being automated.

“Deloitte found 2.1 million jobs in wholesale and retail sector, which accounts for 59% of the total workforce, carry high chances of being automated in the next 20 years.”– BBC

Foxconn workers

Earlier on Foxconn workers have agitated over their poor working and living conditions. This led to the suicide of 15 of the workers. It appears the robotic approach is a way of getting rid of them.