Print 30 comment(s) - last by lagomorpha.. on Aug 3 at 8:40 AM

Foxconn will be replacing much of its Chinese work force with robots.  (Source: Southern Weekly)

Robots don't ask for raises, can't be worked to death, and -- most importantly -- don't commit suicide.  (Source: Walden University)

The move should help pad the profit margins of Foxconn parent company Hon Hai and its CEO Terry Gou. The billionaire playboy was the first to suggest that the company's Chinese employees be replaced by robots.  (Source: Baidu)
Chinese giant is top supplier of Apple products and also does contract for many other American companies

Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd. (2317) last year had to contend with a firestorm of negative publicity following a string of suicides [1][2][3] at its Chinese subsidiary, Foxconn.  Most of the suicides occurred at the company's Shenzhen city-factory, which employed 400,000 people, and was a major manufacturing center Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhones, iPods, and iPads.  The suicides claimed the lives of at least 12 employees, and at least one other employee was allegedly worked to death.

After these incidents, Taiwanese billionaire and Hon Hai CEO Terry Gou suggested one possible solution was to replace employees with robots.  Most thought the suggestion was far fetched.  But Hon Hai is looking to prove doubter wrong, announcing a sweeping plan to replace its Chinese laborers with robots.

The new robots have many advantages over humans.  They're suicide-proof (unless you believe a certain controversial GM commercial).  Their families can't sue you when you work them to death, as a) they don't have families, and b) you can't work them to death (or it would be much harder to, at least).  And best of all the robots collect no pay or benefits.

Foxconn currently has 10,000 robots at its plants.  The majority of its labor, however, is human labor.  That will change as it expands to 300,000 robots next year and 1 million robots within 3 years.

That new robotic army could replace much of the company's current 1.2 million employee work force.  Ironically an employee last year complained about the robotic nature of their job stating, "Life is meaningless.  Everyday, I repeat the same thing I did yesterday."

Aside from the suicide and working conditions complaints against Foxconn, the robots are also a response to the rising wage demands of Chinese laborers.  This trend has forced many major Chinese manufacturers to move to cheaper countries, like Vietnam, or -- like Foxconn -- consider automation.

The new Foxconn robots will be proficient at many chores, including spraying, wielding, and assembling.  While they will certainly slash jobs at the manufacturer, some are predicting that they may help to raise the salaries of the remaining specialist workers.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: It may be your undoing...
By lagomorpha on 8/1/2011 8:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
In fairness, for every $1 spend in the US on birth control we regain $1000 in reduced incarceration expenses 18 years down the line so in the long term this makes economic sense.

RE: It may be your undoing...
By knutjb on 8/2/2011 12:03:25 AM , Rating: 2
Zero population zero expense. Human beings will always commit crimes. To make a moral decision of human life based on expense is so Chairman Mao... Try adding a little deontology to your utilitarianism.

RE: It may be your undoing...
By Murloc on 8/2/2011 5:23:25 AM , Rating: 2
the fact is that an accidental pregnancy probably means white trash 16 years old girl or ghetto girl.
Which means criminal son with no dad in a bad location.

Those who can't afford the day after pill are exactly these people.

RE: It may be your undoing...
By lagomorpha on 8/3/2011 8:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
People that use birth control or have abortions do go on to have children, but they have them later in life when they are more likely to actually pay attention to them. Young people that can't afford birth control are in no shape to become parents, it's a recipe for fully occupied prisons in the future.

Socialized contraception is the best investment tax dollars could be spent on.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki