Sunday 23 May 2010

Foxconn makes the news again

With the latest round of suicides making the news, it seems that Foxconn and Hon Hai are irrevocably marked as especially poor, oppressive and exploitative employers, despite efforts to combat the wave of depression that has hit the company including bringing in Buddhist monks.

Such a reputation would, in my opinion, and despite my previous criticism of the company, be unjust. Foxconn is in no way any worse than any employer in mainland China and by many measures a lot better.

Yes, hours are long, but overtime is not compulsory and is not badly paid by mainland Chinese standards. The company places a firm emphasis on training of mainland Chinese staff as part of its policy of localisation. It is true that some of the Taiwanese managers display an almost colonial level of contempt for the mainland workers, but the central policy of the company is to replace the highly paid non-mainland Chinese staff with cheaper but equally skilled mainland employees. This is mandated by Terry Guo, not out of the goodness of his heart, but for strict business reasons of profit.

1 comment:

Michael Turton said...

I find it hard to put a finger on why the suicides are happening there. Is it something driven by Chinese media attention? 12 suicides among several hundred thousand workers is not a big deal, especially considering that age group.