They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
Posted by feww on May 26, 2016
The ‘endgame’ has begun!
“60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence” —SCMP
At least 600 other companies look to decimate their workhorses, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Apple’s supplier Foxconn and three dozen other Taiwanese companies spent about 4 billion yuan (USD610 million) on artificial intelligence last year, according to the Kunshan government.
“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 a local official.
“More companies are likely to follow suit.”
Kunshan was regarded as the most economically successful county-level administration in China. Its GDP grew substantially from around 20 billion yuan in 2000 to over 300 billion yuan in 2014.
It manufactured about 120 million laptops a year at its peak, but output had fallen to only 51 million because of falling demand, local officials said.
Home to about 4,800 Taiwanese companies, it accounts for over 60 percent of the county’s GDP, with two-thirds of the population of 2.6 million comprising of migrant workers.
Worker suicide rate could shoot through the roof!
Foxconn, then world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, has been plagued by a spate of suicides since at least 2007, and peaking at 2010, when at least 18 attempted suicides by the employees resulted in a minimum of 14 known deaths. The suicides occurred at “Foxconn City” industrial park in Shenzhen, China.
At least 7 other suicide deaths at the company were reported between 2010 1nd 2013.
Prompted by the first wave of suicides in 2010, two dozen Chinese universities worked together to compile a report on Foxconn manufacturing environment, which they described as a “labor camp.” Foxconn’s management style was criticized as “inhumane and abusive.” Interviews of 1,800 Foxconn employees at a dozen factories also discovered evidence of illegal overtime and failure to report accidents.
Robots replacing bipeds: 260,000 robots are working in U.S. factories
As of February, at least 260,000 robots were working in U.S. factories, according to a report.
“Orders and shipments for robots in North America set new records in 2015, according to industry trade group Robotic Industries Association. A total of 31,464 robots, valued at a combined $1.8 billion, were ordered from North American companies last year, marking a 14% increase in units and an 11% increase in value year-over-year.”