Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn Electronics is rumoured to be setting up plants in the US next year, moving away from its long time “home” base of mainland China. According to rumours floating around the internet, Foxconn is planning to start up factories in either Los Angeles or Detroit. All of this comes not long after Apple’s recent announcement to have part of their Mac computer line manufactured in the US.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo said that Foxconn was indeed looking to start up factories in the US.
“We are looking at doing more manufacturing in the US because, in general, customers want more to be done there,” Louis Woo, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. He declined to comment on individual clients or specific plans.
The rumours indicate that Foxconn is moving towards manufacturing in the States to satisfy clients who want the “Made in America” stamp. Currently Apple products assembled by Foxconn bear the epitaph, “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China.”
As of right now there is no validity to the rumour apart from Foxconn looking to set up shop in the US. The Detroit Free Press received a very generic and bland statement from Foxconn stating that the company is looking at multiple sites for its manufacturing.
Foxconn or Hon Hai precision is a Taiwanese company that became famous in the early ’90s for its contract work with technology companies has been in the spotlight in recent years due to controversies with its factories in mainland China. In 2010, workers at Foxconn’s mainland plants committed suicide over poor working conditions and low wages. Just earlier this year Foxconn had two incidents take place in their factory campuses as well; one was a full-blown riot and another a scheduling conflict.
If Foxconn does open up a factory in the US, many questions need to be answered. Foxconn right now is a major employer of cheap unskilled labour in China, and as it stands right now it doesn’t really make sense for Foxconn to invest in operations in the US, mostly because the cost of labour in the States is much higher than that found in China. If Foxconn opens up a factory in the US, where will it get its workforce, how will all of this affect the price of consumer electronics, and on a weirder note, how will it affect China and its perceived rise?
Foxconn reportedly plans to set up plants in US [Digitimes]
Foxconn Plans American Expansion as Clients Seek Made in U.S.A. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
Top photo: Kin Cheung/AP