Foxconn GM reveals plans to fully automate some factories
Earlier in May it was revealed by a Chinese government official that a Foxconn factory cut 60,000 jobs due to robotic automation. In a comment to the BBC regarding the story, Foxconn insisted that while it was automating lower-level jobs, it would still be using labor in "higher value-added elements" of manufacturing. However, in a recent interview with Digitimes, Foxconn GM Dai Jia Peng has revealed that the company intends to fully automate entire factories.
The plan is to switch to automation in three phases, according to Dai: The first phase is the automation of menial or highly dangerous jobs that some workers may be unwilling do to. The second phase is the automation of entire production lines, while the third and final phase is the automation of entire factories, utilizing a small crew of support staff involved in the final stages of the production process. Many of Foxconn's factories are already in the second or third phase.
Automation by the world's largest contracted electronics manufacturer would have major effects not only on the economy but the social stability of southern China, where millions of Chinese from all over the country come to work in basic manufacturing jobs.