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Business

Foxconn joins in US manufacturing renaissance, invests in Harrisburg plant

Taiwan’s Foxconn has announced a major investment in a plant in the United States. The supplier to tech giants such as Apple and Sony aims to ramp up high-end production and joins a relocation drive to the US.

Foxconn's flagship company, Hon Hai Precision Industry, would invest $30 million (22 million euros) over two years into its plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Taiwanese computer parts manufacturer announced on Friday.

Moreover, $10 million would be earmarked for research and development cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which is also situated in Pennsylvania.

The investment was expected to create 500 new jobs at the Harrisburg plant, which would be turned into a high-tech manufacturing facility for telecommunications equipment and Internet servers, Foxconn chairman and founder Terry Guo said in a statement.

"We'll go from original component R&D through to a complete high-end production chain," Guo said. "However, this is not, as assumed, manufacturing for a specific brand."

Foxconn, which is the world's largest contract electronics maker, employs about 1.6 million workers worldwide, most of them in Taiwan and China.

Noting that Foxconn wouldn't migrate its Chinese production, Guo said that the firm's expansion in the US would create high-value-added manufacturing for future technology trends. He also said that he would support President Barack Obama's efforts towards a US manufacturing renaissance.

Foxconn has long been a symbol of US high-tech companies' outsourcing efforts. But the company, which assembles iPhones for Apple and computers for Hewlett-Packard, announced last December that it would seek to expand its US operations as customers requested more of their products to be domestically made.

Foxconn is under pressure to improve poor working conditions, which are said to have led to a number of suicides in its Chinese plants.

uhe/mkg (AFP, Bloomberg)