Fearing lost revenue, local government mobilizes veterans to fill Foxconn worker shortage

Nearly 60% of Taiwanese companies have exited or are preparing to leave China due to the lack of COVID-19 restrictions

Authorities in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan province, where Taiwanese firm Foxconn has its largest factory, are mobilizing ex-combatants to fill a labor shortage caused by the ongoing coronavirus fight.

Earlier this month, a number of civil servants in Henan were notified to mobilize grassroots cadres and veterans to work for Foxconn. “Executives have to take the lead and have at least a month of work time,” local officials said on Nov. 16. according to Go to the Chinese portal Sina.

The province has distributed recruitment tasks to specific county-level cities such as Jiaozuo, Xinxiang, Zhumadian, Xinyang and Luohe, as well as various township and street offices. A town of Zhoukou can recruit his 150 workers, and a populous city can recruit more than his 200.

On November 15, the Veterans Administration of Changhe City, Henan Province, called on veterans to actively participate in Foxconn Zhengzhou’s recruitment efforts, Foxconn’s safety and security facilities were renovated, factories, restaurants and dormitories were all renovated. Said it was sanitized. Financial Media Yicai report November 17th.

The official notice also urged veterans to “remember the identity and mission of the military, ‘When there is war, we will be back’ and ‘Wherever there is a need, there are veterans’.” Remind me to remind you.

Since late October, Foxconn Zhengzhou, the world’s largest iPhone assembly site and producing half of the world’s iPhone supply, has suffered massive spills due to the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent secondary disasters. and is suffering from a severe staff shortage, which is a trigger for workers to flee the factory. plant.

On November 22, Foxconn employees in Zhengzhou gathered at the gate hoping to flee the company en masse.Authorities deployed hundreds of police to suppress their movements with tear gas and water cannons.A Nov 23 Twitter Indicated Tens of thousands of people rushed out of the Foxconn factory and clashed with police in hazmat suits. Some police officers were armed with gear and beat protesters who stood alone. Some were beaten and covered in blood, while others shouted, “The police are beating us.”

Epoch Times photo
Chinese workers assemble electronic components at Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn’s factory in Shenzhen, south of Guangzhou, May 26, 2010. (AFP/AFP via Getty Images)

Foxconn plays an important role in local economic development

It is very rare for local Communist governments to assist private companies in recruiting workers, especially those from Taiwan.

“The Henan provincial government will be very worried and worried about Foxconn fleeing,” current affairs commentator Yang Xi said in a Nov. 23 interview with The Epoch Times, noting that the province has no other He said he doesn’t have a big industry and is mainly dependent on Foxconn. .

“If Foxconn flees, Henan’s economy will almost collapse,” Yang said.

In 2020, Foxconn Zhengzhou is China’s largest export trading company, with an annual export value of $31.6 billion, accounting for 80% of the city’s total export value and 60% of Henan’s total export value. according to to Chinese media.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory employs approximately 200,000 to 300,000 people, and indirectly provides work for millions of people, considering the food, clothing and transportation of these people. Foxconn’s importance is therefore substantial for Zhengzhou, a city of 12 million people, and even for Henan province, Yang said.

November 11, Reuters report Foxconn is expanding its operations in India, with the Foxconn India plant planning to employ 53,000 people within two years, quadrupling the total workforce from current levels.

This is exactly what the Henan government is concerned about, Yang said. “Henan’s need for Foxconn is much greater than Foxconn’s need for Henan.”

According to Foxconn Zhengzhou’s recruitment advertisement, employees do not need advanced technical skills, only need seven days of training, and subsidies are provided.

“Foxconn’s R&D and technology department is in Taiwan. [of the business]added Yang.

November 6th, Apple announced China’s Communist Party of China (CCP)’s COVID-19 restrictions have dramatically reduced its capacity to operate at its Zhengzhou assembly plant. Despite strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, the company warned that shipments of these phones will be lower than expected and customers will have to wait longer to receive the new products. .

Epoch Times photo
People walk in front of the Foxconn logo in Taipei, Taiwan on January 31, 2019. (SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

More Taiwanese firms looking to move away from China

In recent years, more Taiwanese companies are considering suspending operations in China after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

On October 4, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a US think tank, announced that “It’s Moving TimeTaiwanese companies appear to be moving operations out of China in “far greater numbers than in the past,” according to the report.

Written by Scott Kennedy, a China expert with a long-standing interest in China’s economic development and cross-strait trade, the report surveyed 525 Taiwanese companies in late July and early August. More than 60% of them continue to operate in China.

The survey found that 25.7% of these Taiwanese companies said they had already moved some of their production or procurement operations out of China, and 33.2% said they were considering that option but had not yet done so. , totaling close to 60%. .

Regarding cross-strait relations, 76.3% agreed with the statement that “Taiwan needs to reduce its economic dependence on China,” while 67% agreed that “Taiwan should increase restrictions on high-tech trade and investment with China.” I agree with “There is.

Reason for withdrawal

Kennedy points out that the reasons for Taiwanese companies to leave China are complex, with geopolitical risks being some of the factors.

Taiwanese businessman Liao Ching-chang told the Epoch Times on November 16 that, besides the Chinese Communist Party’s zero-coronavirus policy and the US-China tech cold war, another reason for the trend away from China was “China’s It’s not keeping pace with the social environment.”

Liao had three factories in China, covering the shoe manufacturing, sporting goods and chemical industries. He returned to Taiwan after nearly 30 years of his operation in China and gave up the China-based factory.

“Normally, we Taiwanese do business and our competitors are all Taiwanese and we know where the revenue is, but when we compete with the Chinese, we know they have no revenue.” Mr Liao said.

“Price war is the most popular model for Chinese businessmen to gain market share, but it is not realistic. Even if the market can feed 10 manufacturers, only one or two competitors. may survive,” Liao said.

Liao believes this is a kind of culture rooted in the Communist Party’s ideology that makes people believe, “Either you die or I live.” Especially when people meet, what they think is “Will you kneel to me or I will kneel to you?”

“This is a theory of strife, which is very different from the concept of equal opportunity promoted by democracies and free societies,” Liao said.

In an earlier interview with The Epoch Times, Mr. Liao warned Taiwanese businessmen wishing to expand into China, “If you nevertheless recklessly cross the strait (to mainland China), you will face a dead end.”

Ellen Wang Contributed to this article.

Sean Lynn


Sean Lin is a Chinese expat living in New Zealand. He has been writing for the Epoch Times since his 2009, focusing on China-related topics.

Lin Shu