Menu
Foxconn's CEO backpedals on robot takeover at factories

Foxconn's CEO backpedals on robot takeover at factories

Foxconn expects robots to take over 30 percent of jobs in five years

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou

Foxconn Technology Group's plan for a "robot army" won't come as quickly as originally anticipated, according to its CEO.

For years now, the iPhone manufacturer has been talking about using robots to do some of the jobs done by humans at its factories. Back in February, CEO Terry Gou said he expected the automation to account for 70 percent of his company's assembly line work in three years.

But on Thursday, Gou backtracked from those statements, claiming that media reports had misquoted him.

"It should be that in five years, the robots will take over 30 percent of the manpower," he said during the company's annual shareholders' meeting in Taipei.

Foxconn aims to eventually create factories that are more robot-powered, but that will take ten to fifteen years, Gou added. For now, the company still largely relies on human workers. In China alone, it has over a million employees, many of whom work on the company's assembly lines.

However, even after using robots, Foxconn doesn't intend to rely less on human workers. The world's demand for electronics continues to grow, and Foxconn is moving into business areas such as smart car development, and data centers. In addition, the company wants to expand its manufacturing base in India and Southeast Asia.

"That doesn't mean our manpower will be eliminated," Gou added. "That 30 percent of manpower will be upgraded to higher-grade work." The hope is that the robots can take over the monotonous duties at its factories, letting employees focus on tasks that require thinking, Gou said.

Foxconn is considered the world's largest electronics manufacturer, building products for Apple, Sony and Amazon, among others. But the company continues to face criticism over the labor conditions at its factories, despite progress made to correct the problems.

At the same meeting, Gou launched a tirade at the U.K. media and Hong Kong labor protection groups for being critical of his company.

"Our workers very much love to work at this company," Gou said. "If I put out a recruitment poster, crowds of people will come. We're not afraid that we can't hire workers."


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags environmentFoxconn Technology GroupElectronics manufacturing

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments