Taiwan technology giant Foxconn has been increasing its assembly-line workforce in central China in preparation for the manufacture of a new iPhone, the company and media said Tuesday.
Foxconn has been hiring workers in its Zhengzhou plant and will continue to do so to “meet operational demands”, spokesman Simon Hsing said, without elaborating.
The Taiwanese company said Monday that it has added about 10,000 assembly-line workers a week in Zhengzhou, its major production facility for iPhones, since the last week of March.
A spokesman for Foxconn declined to elaborate about production plans, saying only that the company would continue to expand its workforce in Zhengzhou, where it currently employs some 300,000 people, to meet seasonal demand from clients.
The Wall Street Journal said the resumption of hiring in Zhengzhou, the company’s major production facility for iPhones, indicated that Apple is gearing up for production of a new device.
The newspaper quoted unnamed Foxconn executives as saying the company had increased workforce numbers at the plant to cater for a new iPhone launch.
Foxconn, the trade name for Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia, among others, in huge plants in China where it employs more than one million workers.
In February, Foxconn said it had decided to temporarily slow down the recruitment process due to an unprecedented rate of returning employees following the Chinese New Year holiday compared to previous years.
The Financial Times newspaper reported at the time that Foxconn had frozen hiring in China due to reduced orders for Apple’s iPhone 5, although the company denied such decisions were made based on any one customer.
China’s migrant workers go home for the annual Lunar New Year holiday and immediately after the long break companies typically report labour shortages as employees delay their return or fail to go back to their previous jobs.