Foxconn recruits more workers, promising higher bonus
Published: Jul 14, 2021 07:27 PM
Workers are seen at a workshop in Longhua science and technology park of Foxconn Technology Group in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Feb 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)

Workers are seen at a workshop in Longhua science and technology park of Foxconn Technology Group in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Feb 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)

Foxconn is recruiting more workers at its factories in the Chinese mainland, leveraging higher bonuses to attract workers to manufacture the new iPhone series, which is due to be launched in two months.

The new round of recruitment comes weeks earlier than usual, because the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic in some Southeast Asian countries have pushed Apple's ODMs, including Foxconn, to divert some of their supply chain back to China to secure production capacity for the launch, industry insiders said. 

The returning supply chain will remain in place until next year or longer depending on whether those countries could control the pandemic. 

Several recruiters involved with Foxconn told the Global Times on Wednesday that they are offering higher bonuses for new hires, as the company prepares for the upcoming launch of the iPhone 13.

"Successful candidates will receive a one-time bonus of as much as 7,000 yuan ($1,082) after working for 90 consecutive days," a source with the Foxconn recruitment team said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, and those working for iPhones will get the highest bonus.

The recruitment season often begins in August but it came early this year due to concerns of a labor shortage for the production of the new iPhone series, another source close to Foxconn recruitment said, noting that there is no numerical cap on hiring.

Production of the iPhone 13 has increased by 15 million units this year, compared with 75 million for the iPhone 12 series last year, and demand has risen by 20 percent, media reports said.

Apple hopes to increase production of the iPhone 13 series to 90 million units by the end of this year, according to media reports.

On the contract manufacturing side, Foxconn will still take the majority of the business, including the production of all of the iPhone 13 Pro Max devices, 68 percent of the iPhone 13 devices, and about 60 percent of the iPhone 13 Pro devices, News agency ANI reported on Wednesday. 

Foxconn's massive recruitment began after the pandemic in neighboring countries including India severely disrupted production plans. 

Manufacturers had been planning to keep some middle- and high-end production capacity in the Chinese mainland, and distribute middle- and low-end production capacity to Southeast Asian countries where labor costs are lower, Luffy Lin, chief analyst at Witdisplay, an electronics device consulting platform, told the Global Times.

But because of the virus, the middle- and low-end work has had to return to the Chinese mainland, where the supply chain is complete and secure, and the market is huge.

"About 80-90 percent of the production capacity for the new iPhone series could be in factories in the Chinese mainland at the current stage, which is much higher than usual," said Lin.

Industry insiders said that supply chain backflow is a trend, and if Apple's contractors had any idea of moving part of their supply chain abroad, they will have to put that on hold as the outbreak continues.