iPhone maker Foxconn to set up shop in Pennsylvania; folks ready windows!

    2014/01/29

NSFW    Foxconn, manufacturer of the Apple iPhone, as well as other electronics, such as Blackberry, PlayStation and Xbox, has announced its plans to set up shop in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Taiwanese company will invest $30 million in a new factory and employ 500 people, according to reports. The news comes a day after Terry Gou, Foxconn founder and chairman, met for the first time with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

So here's what we understand about all this. Foxconn has been making iPhones in China for quite awhile. Then they got into trouble because people working in their factories started jumping out windows because they couldn't take it anymore.

Not only that, their biggest factory is based in Shenzhen, which is in southern China. Most of the world's cheap stuff is made there and poor people from all over China go to there find work. However, with China getting richer and richer and people still needing more and more stuff, people are getting pickier about where they're working, so there's actually competition for competent factory workers. Those folks can actually ask for slightly more than slave wages, making the manufacture of said cheap items more expensive.

So with bad press about the suicides and rising costs, Foxconn's looking to make some changes and they plan to head into the U.S. to get some high-skilled manufacturing going, and then to Indonesia where they can exploit the cheap workers there for low-skill, labor-intensive production.

Foxconn has yet to specify what they will be making in Harrisburg, though it's been reported that it'll be something they can't make in China, such very enormous flat-panel displays which don't ship well. It's also been reported that the company will invest $10 million in research and development at Carnegie Mellon University.
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