Hiring Freeze at Apple Supplier Foxconn Plant

Reuters with CNBC.com
Wednesday, 20 Feb 2013 | 1:10 PM ET
Chinese workers in the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, in southern China's Guangdong province.
STR | AFP | Getty Images
Chinese workers in the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, in southern China's Guangdong province.

Apple's largest manufacturing partner, Foxconn Technology Group, said Wednesday it has placed a hiring freeze on its largest plant in Shenzhen, China.

Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo said the Taiwan-based company is not hiring at the facility, citing the high rate of workers returning to the plant after celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Woo denied a Financial Times report that Foxconn had imposed a hiring freeze across most of its factories in China as it slows production of Apple's iPhone 5.

The newspaper quoted a Foxconn spokesman, Liu Kun, assaying, "Currently, none of the plants in mainland China have hiring plans."

Foxconn also makes products for Dell, Sony and Hewlett-Packard, among others.

UBS Investment Research said the freeze may stem partly from HP rather than from Apple. "After conferring with our Asia tech colleagues, we believe the weakness could be attributable to HP," UBS said. "We think HP represents 8-10% of Foxconn's revenue. We believe that Foxconn makes mostly desktop PCs for HP along with some printers and servers."

HP, however, said it does not manufacture PCs at the Foxconn Shenzhen site. "HP has a very diversified supplier strategy unlike other companies who are more dependent on a single vendor," the company added.

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