As summer ticks by and the release of a rumored iPad mini draws closer, Chinese-based manufacturing plant Foxconn has begun its search for new employees. Thousands of young workers were seen lining up in the pouring rain over the past few days in Chengdu, waiting for their turn to apply for a summer job at one of the country’s largest factories.
Chinese blog M.I.C. Gadget produced a series of photos that shows city streets clogged with umbrellas – toting potential new hires. Foxconn’s signage can be seen in the background. Some people even carried luggage bags with them. Are they coming directly from a long journey far from home? Maybe they are headed straight for the train after a day’s job hunt.
According to M.I.C. Gadget, the Foxconn plant is hiring a large number of workers for the summer, which may still have openings. Applicants are required to pay a registration fee of 150 Chinese yuan ($24) and the only requirement is that they must have good eyesight.
The website mentioned that the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou is also hiring new employees. Unnamed sources told M.I.C. Gadget that one of the iPhone assembly lines inside the Zhengzhou factory recently began trial production on the next generation of iPhone. During one particular night shift, workers assembled only five of the trial units.
Earlier rumors pointed to Foxconn’s newly built Brazilian plant as the local for assembly of the iPad mini. However, this recent bit of news may be evidence that Foxconn employees will be working hard at all three locations. It would take a lot of effort to build a third-generation iPad, which is still selling like hotcakes, an iPad mini, and a new generation of iPhone, all at the same time. Although Foxconn’s job posting didn’t specifically say that the summer work was for the purposes of assembling an iPad mini, there are many rumors coming down the line that point to the production of a smaller-screened Apple tablet in the works.
[via Apple Insider]
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Apple currently has five stores in China -- three in Shanghai and two in Beijing -- but the company is hoping to open two new flagship stores in Chengdu and Shenzhen to bolster sales in the country. At this point in time, China is a hot market for Apple, with the country accounting for a significant portion of the huge quarterly profit increase reported in April.
There's only one fly in the proverbial ointment, however. A lawyer for Proview Technology (Shenzhen) told Reuters that if Apple tried selling iPads at a new store planned for the city, Proview would seek an injunction to stop it. Proview, of course, believes that it owns the iPad trademark and the two companies have been fighting it out in Chinese courts for months.
Apple hopes to set up shop in the trendy Holiday Plaza mall in Shenzhen's Nanshan district. The company delivered documents to government officials on Monday, and government official noted that Apple only needs to submit an environmental permit before approval is given.
Chengdu, which is in southwestern China, is also the target of an upcoming new store. In late May, Apple gained approval to set up a business to handle "retail sales and after-sales service." There's no word on where the Chengdu store will be located, but Apple is currently hiring for sales staff in both Chengdu and Shenzhen.
Apple preps two new retail stores in China despite Proview threats originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 06 Jun 2012 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Foxconn saw a large drop in revenue after the explosion at its Chendgu plant last month, according to Digitimes. Foxconn's May revenues dropped 2.14% month-over-month to US$6.95 billion. The revenue fall off was a direct result of the explosion, according to the company. The explosion that killed three workers on May 20 is thought to have been set off when aluminum dust used in a polishing process was accidentally ignited.
Just hours after the explosion, Apple issued a statement saying they were working closely with Foxconn to find out what caused the event. The plant closed for almost two weeks after the explosion before reopening on June 2. There has been no word yet on the official results of Apple's or Foxconn's investigations, but the Chinese government has urged Foxconn to ensure worker safety in light of the tragedy.
Foxconn sees financial drop after plant explosion originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 13 Jun 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
A Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China that was damaged in an explosion on May 20 has been reopened less than two weeks later, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The explosion, which killed 3 workers and injured more than 15 others, was apparently caused by combustible dust used in polishing workshops. Foxconn hasn't disclosed the results of its completed investigations, which Apple also reportedly took part in.
The reopening of production activities at this plant should relieve concerns of financial analysts, many of who anticipated a shortfall of iPad 2 units as a result of the incident. It was thought that the Chengdu plant accounted for as much as 30% of all iPad production and that the explosion would further constrain supplies of the popular tablet -- now analysts believe that many of the constraints are due to "yield issues on certain outside components" and that production of the iPad 2 will remain constrained during the June quarter.
Further details about Thursday morning's incident are sparse, and the reasons behind the factory worker's suicide are currently unknown. This is at least the 14th publicized death by suicide among Foxconn's workforce since the start of 2010.
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou declined to comment about the incident saying he doesn't know the full details about the apparent suicide. However, last year, Gou said suicides by Foxconn employees were prompted by personal issues rather than tough working conditions in his company's facilities.
Labor groups like China Labor Watch disagree. Foxconn's critics have slammed the Taipei-based company for operating facilities with a sweatshop atmosphere -- an accusation Gou vehemently denies.
In response to last year's suicides and subsequent harsh criticism, Foxconn, which builds electronic products for several other recognizable brands including Sony and Dell, raised wages, slashed overtime, offered counseling, and tried to improve the work-life balance for its more than one million factory workers in China.
Although Foxconn's suicide rate remains markedly lower than China's national average, Thursday morning's death, last Friday's explosion, and protests outside a Foxconn shareholder meeting earlier this month suggest the manufacturer has more work to do to improve employee safety and overall satisfaction.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the friends and family of the young man who died.
It's been another rough week for Foxconn, Apple's biggest manufacturing partner. After an explosion at a Foxconn factory killed three workers last Friday, the Chinese government urged the manufacturer and other Taiwanese companies to better ensure the safety of their employees.
"We hope Foxconn and other Taiwanese firms can learn lessons from this, carry out safety responsibilities, step up internal oversight, stamp out potential safety risks in a timely manner, and ensure safe production," Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.
Friday's deadly explosion rocked a Foxconn polishing workshop in Chengdu, a city in southwest China, where workers put the finishing touches on electronic products for many of the world's largest brands, including Apple. Immediately after the blast, the local government began rescue efforts and an investigation into its cause. So far, investigators believe the explosion was the result of a "production safety accident," according to Fan, who didn't go into further details about the cause of the incident. Previous reports suggest that combustible dust in the polishing workshop ignited to fuel the blast.
In response to the incident, Foxconn has temporarily suspended operations at all of its workshops that polish electronics in China and, according to Fan, the manufacturer pledged to "make an all out effort" to treat the injured workers, reassure the families of their employees, and remove hidden safety risks "in accordance with relevant requirements."
As we continue to follow up on the impact of the deadly explosion at Foxconn’s manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China on May 20th, we are learning more about production suspension and its affect on iPad 2 production. According to a new analysis from IHS iSuppli, the aftermath of the explosion could result in the production loss of 500,000 iPad 2 units being shipped in the second quarter. Based on IHS iSuppli research, the Chengdu plant manufactures about a half-million units per month and, depending on the length of the investigation and suspension of the plant, things may not get back under way until June, or even later.
As we reported yesterday, Foxconn’s Chengdu plant was only responsible for manufacturing of 25-30% of the tablets during the month of April. Because the production at the Chengdu plant had not yet reached its full potential, the company’s Shenzhen plant is expected to pick up the slack. According to iSuppli.com, Foxconn chairman, Terry Gou was reported as saying the explosion would not affect production in the third quarter. HIS iSuppli believes “There likely will be some impact on production in the second quarter.”
As mentioned, Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant is expected to ramp up production at its already over-worked facility in order to compensate for lost production in Chengdu. The Shenzhen plant has the capacity to manufacture 7.5 million units in the second quarter, which falls short of the company’s total expected output of 7.8-8.1 million, or between 300,000 and 600,000 units, according to iSuppli.com.
Apple, Inc. has been under fire lately because of its relationship with Foxconn after reports have come out that the Shenzhen plant has recorded an unusually high number of suicide rates, possibly due to poor working conditions. Now, that same plant will be responsible for picking up the extra work lost at the Chengdu plant. One has to wonder how this news has affected workers at the plant.
Although Foxconn, in collaboration with Apple, Inc. have worked to improve conditions at the company’s factories, recent events and how Foxconn is handling them, call into question the company’s regulations on workplace safety and how Apple, Inc. will help facilitate better conditions.
Asian tech industry blog Digitimes has reported on two seemingly contradictory stories regarding how Friday's tragic explosion at the Foxconn plant in Chengdu China will affect iPad 2 production. In one post, Digitimes states that production has been suspended at the Chengdu plant. Although the Chengdu plant produces less than 30 percent of iPad 2s, the production suspension report has caused concerns over availability constraints in the near future. The majority of the devices are manufactured at a plant in Shenzhen.
However, Digitimes has also posted that, according to Commercial Times (a Chinese-language financial newspaper), the disaster will not affect iPad 2 assembly lines since the explosion and subsequent fire occurred at a location used to store chemicals and coatings, leaving the assembly lines unscathed. Foxconn has stated that iPad 2 production will continue as previously planned.
This may be Foxconn PR spin to try to put the brakes on the 5 percent drop in its stock last night during Asian trading. It may also be due to Foxconn's intention to ramp up assembly at its Shenzhen facility, which is expected to increase production from 2 million units per month to 4-5 million units per month in the second quarter. The manufacturer hopes to raise output to 9-10 million units per month in the second half of the year.
It's too early to tell how this will play out, but our collective hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrible tragedy.
As we reported last week, there was an explosion and subsequent fire at Foxconn’s iPad Manufacturing Plant in Chengdu, China on May 20th, which killed three people and left 20 injured.
According to DigiTimes, Foxconn suspended production of the iPad 2 at the explosion site until a full investigation by local officials could be completed. However, Foxconn informed its upstream component suppliers that it does not expect this shut down to result in an iPad shortage.
Assembly lines where the iPad is actually made are not affected by the shut down. Foxconn’s Shenzen, China plant, the more established and larger of the two operations, can increase its manufacturing efforts to make up the gap caused by the slow down at Chengdu.
Foxconn’s Chendgu plant recently opened, joining its Shenzen plant, and was only responsible for manufacturing 25-30% of the tablets built in April. According to DigiTimes:
Foxconn’s goal was to ramp up iPad 2 production at the Chengdu factory site to 3-4 million units in the second quarter from about 600,000 in the first, with an aim to grow the monthly figure to 13-14 million in the second half of 2011. Meanwhile, Foxconn’s Shenzhen production base will increase production of iPad 2 at a slower pace. Monthly output from the site is expected to increase to 4-5 million units a month in the second quarter from 1.8-2 million in the first, and ultimately reach 9-10 million units in the second half.
While the recent events at Chengdu will certainly slow Foxconn’s goals for its newest plant at the moment, Foxconn has offered no evidence that the company has altered its quarterly manufacturing goals, which would have Chengdu outpacing Shenzen in production by the second half of the fiscal year.
Via MacRumors and M.I.C Gadget, there are reports coming in of a substantial fire and possible explosion at a Foxconn plant that is said to be dedicated primarily to iPad 2 production.
M.I.C Gadget has several video clips of the scene, including smoke billowing from a building, people evacuating and reports of multiple fire engines responding to the emergency. There are reports of some injuries and speculation that the fire/explosion was caused by airborne dust.
Our thoughts are with the victims of this emergency, and we hope that all the remaining employees are able to evacuate the plant safely.