Foxconn Working On Replacing Workers With Robots

While to the rest of the world, it may seem like China is still paying its workers absolutely nothing, the labour costs are actually increasing substantially thanks to the country’s rapid industrialization. So much so, in fact, that Foxconn is working on replacing some of their labour force with robots.

Foxconn Robotic Workers

A CNET report says that Foxconn announced their intention to do so sometime last year, but now they’re finally beginning the process of installing their new robots. They’ve been spurred on by not only rising labour costs, but also by the fact that several of their workers have killed themselves over the last couple years. When you’re working conditions are that depressing, it’s definitely time to make some changes.

While this may have some short-term negative impacts on Foxconn’s workers, as some of them will lose their jobs to these robots, it will also allow working conditions and wages to improve for the smaller number of remaining employees. Automation and industrialization has been instrumental in improving the quality of life in other developing nations, so if Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturing companies go down this road, it should result in a substantial increase in working conditions for China’s working class.

So far, 10,000 of the new robots have arrived at Foxconn facilities, and another 20,000 are scheduled to arrive by the end of the year. The cost of the robots is somewhere around the $25,000 mark, which is what the average Foxconn employee makes in three years. Foxconn says the robots will improve efficiency and “combat rising labour costs,” which means reduce their work force, essentially.

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  • iPhone4SGuy

    I think this is good, cos it means there will be less suicide attempts and Apple & Foxconn wont get as bad a name for the manafacturing

  • http://twitter.com/trickedoutdavid David Margolin

    sweet pic but i assume they wont look human cause thats just insult to injury

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Losh-Loshan/100000432789997 Losh Loshan

    I still don’t get why only Apple is blamed for FoxConn, I have a FoxConn motherboard for a PC, I also have other FoxConn parts, even samsung and stuff work with FoxConn, why shouldn’t they get the blame. Same thing with Android, there are sooooo many bugs in Android, but no one ever posts about them, but in iOS it’s the opposite, every single little thing gets criticized.

  • Farids

    There was a report last week regarding Foxconn opening some manufacturing facilities in the US. Could some of these robots be destined to be utilized in the US? This could make sense in helping lower the labour costs in the states plants. This reminds me of the opening of the all robotic Apple plant in the early 80′s. it was such big news in those days. All automated factory making thinking machines :-)

  • Mitchell Bowman

    Good point. It’s certainly a possibility. We’ll have to see if those American Foxconn factories end up becoming a reality.

  • Farids

    When you have the best and most solid product, everybody tries to put a dent in its solidity. Android is a very good product, no doubt. but the fact that it has to be modified in order to work in tens of devices(fragmentation causes bugs and upgradability limitations), and its openness which makes it have over a hundred known viruses and malware(and countless unknown), makes it inferior to iOS, especially in government and enterprise environment where security is most vital. Bad mouthing is the competition’s weapon against iOS :-)

  • Nick

    Lol iRobot