Thursday, May 26, 2016

On Megasites; "60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence"

"...600 companies look to trim their headcount

Thirty-five Taiwanese companies, including Apple’s supplier Foxconn, spent a total of 4 billion yuan (HK$4.74 billion) on artificial intelligence last year, according to the Kunshan government’s publicity department.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs,” said the department’s head Xu Yulian.

If a new manufacturing plant comes to North Carolina, 
it's probably going to be automated to the point where increased employment
for the locals will be relatively negligible

“More companies are likely to follow suit.”

...The job cuts do not augur well for Kunshan, which had a population of more than 2.5 million at the end of 2014, two-thirds of whom were migrant workers.

To build a new facility from scratch doesn't make economic sense
without severely limiting the number of necessary employees.

...At its peak, Kunshan manufactured 120 million laptops a year, but output had fallen to only 51 million because of falling demand, said local officials..."