Entries with tag foxconn.

Foxconn Moves to Robotic Assembly

Foxconn Technology Group, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, plans to begin using robots to help assemble devices in its Chinese factories. Apple, which uses the company for making its iPhones and iPads, will be the first company to use the new robotic service. The company says it will initially use 10,000 robots, which cost about $25,000 each and which are being tested now. Foxconn says it wants to use robots in part to offset rising labor costs. (SlashDot)(Business Insider)

Foxconn Moves into Telecommunications Services

Electronics maker Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan is buying roughly 15 percentof Taiwanese mobile carrier Asia Pacific Telecom. In New Taiwan dollars, Foxconn is paying NT$11.6 billion (about $390 million), according to recent regulatory filings. The transaction—expected to be finalized 20 June 2014—is expected to help Foxconn establish a substantial market share in Taiwan’s emerging 4G-wireless market. Taiwan’s government awarded a 4G operating license to the company, which expects to offer services later this year. Foxconn—also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry—is best known in the US as the contract manufacturer for Apple products. The company is diversifying into other new markets, including software and cloud computing. (Reuters)(ZDNet)

Microsoft Inks Deal with Hardware Maker over Alleged Misuse of Intellectual Property

Microsoft has reached an agreement in which Hon Hai, the world’s biggest consumer electronics manufacturer, will pay Microsoft patent royalties related to devices powered by Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems. The deal protects Hon Hai, parent company of manufacturer Foxconn Electronics, from being sued by Microsoft, which contends the Google code in the devices uses Microsoft’s intellectual property. This is Microsoft’s nineteenth announced Google-related patent license deal—which includes those with companies such as Acer, HTC, Nikon, and ViewSonic—since 2010. Rather than sue Google, Microsoft has sought royalties from hardware makers using Google’s software in their products. (BBC)(CNET)

Controversial iPhone Assembler Foxconn Admits it Hired Underage Interns

Foxconn confirmed reports that it used underage employees in its Chinese facilities. This is the latest in a string of labor-related claims against the Taiwanese electronics-manufacturing company, which assembles such well-known products as the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. China Labor Watch, a New York-based nongovernmental organization, recently reported that Foxconn employed interns between the ages of 14 and 16 for three weeks this summer without checking their identification. The children were from schools in Shandong Province. The minimum employment age in China is 16. Foxconn said it is fully investigating the matter. “Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated,” Foxconn stated in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. “We recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company, and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action.” This is the latest labor problem in China for the manufacturer, which has included a worker riot that resulted in a temporary plant closure. (PC Mag)(Bloomberg)(China Labor Watch)

Chinese Plant Reopens with Increased Security after Riot

Security guards in riot gear have been reported at a Chinese plant where iPhones are assembled. The facility closed after a major worker disturbance on Sunday. Reports say the guards have been patrolling the Foxconn Technology Group assembly plant in Taiyuan, China, which makes components for many electronics companies worldwide. The facility, which employs about 79,000 workers, closed after an incident escalated into a 2,000-worker riot Sunday. Investigations into the unrest’s origin reportedly are ongoing. Foxconn says it won’t delay any of its shipments because of the recent events. The company, also called Hon Hai Precision Industry, has been under increased international scrutiny recently for its treatment of workers. (Bloomberg Businessweek)(CNET)(The Wall Street Journal)(Bloomberg News @ The Los Angeles Times)(Computing Now NewsFeed – 24 September 2012)

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