Hon Hai aims to replace 30% of workforce with robots
Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. ( ), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, said Thursday that it is planning to replace 30 percent of its workforce with robots within the next five years to improve manufacturing efficiency.
The initiative will allow Hon Hai to replace monotonous jobs with robots and allocate some of the 30 percent to higher- level tasks such as developing software, engaging in e- commerce business and designing human- computer interfaces to improve artificial intelligence and robot management, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou ( ) said at a meeting with shareholders.
In March this year, the Chinese website of Voice of America reported that Hon Hai plans to introduce thousands of robots to replace human workers on its Chinese assembly lines to reduce labor costs.
The move could help Hon Hai, known outside Taiwan as Foxconn Technology Group (
) , reduce the risk of labor disputes in its facilities in China after a number of employee suicides have been reported at its Chinese factories in the past few years, the report said, citing labor rights advocacy groups.
Hon Hai employs about 1.3 million workers in its Chinese factories.
New Smartphone for
Hon Hai said Thursday that it has started production of a new smartphone for industrial use.
The project comes at a time when the performance of smartphones has outpaced that of personal computers, enabling people to monitor a range of information via their smartphones, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said at a shareholders’ meeting.
Gou said he thinks the global smartphone market will continue to grow despite a recent slowdown, which he attributed to product portfolio changes and the development of new applications by handset companies.
Hon Hai, known outside of Taiwan as Foxconn Technology Group, is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer.