by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 29, 2010
Taiwan high-tech giant Foxconn plans to shift part of its production of Apple gadgets to other parts of the country as it faces rising labour costs, reports said Tuesday.
After a run of suicides and wage hikes, Foxconn will move some manufacturing from Shenzhen to northern Tianjin and central Henan province, the Financial Times said, citing unnamed executives.
Citing local officials, China's official Xinhua news agency said the company plans to build a massive plant in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, that will initially employ 100,000 people and eventually 300,000.
The company was in talks with officials on details of an agreement for the plant, Xinhua said, adding that Henan had already launched a recruitment drive for the factory's employees.
It did not say what the plant would make.
The company -- which also makes products for Panasonic, Dell, Nokia and other top brands -- also will boost its "investment and product portfolio" in Tianjin, the China Daily said.
The move away from its long-time manufacturing hub in Shenzhen, on the border with Hong Kong, is aimed at containing rising costs, the Financial Times said.
Plans by Foxconn to pass on some higher labour costs were not greeted favourably by Apple, the paper added, citing executives involved in negotiations between the two firms.
No one at Foxconn, the world's biggest electronics contract manufacturer, was immediately available to comment on the reports.
A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Apple declined comment on the reports.
This month Foxconn announced salary increases of about 70 percent after 11 Chinese employees apparently committed suicide by jumping from buildings this year, including 10 in Shenzhen.
Labour rights activists have blamed the suicides on tough working conditions at Foxconn and Tuesday's move comes amid increasing unrest at foreign-run factories in China as millions of workers express their discontent at low pay.
earlier related report
The Cisco Cius, pronounced "see us," is powered by Google's open-source Android operating system and boasts eight hours of battery life.
Cisco said customer trials of the Cius would begin later this year and the device would be available in the first quarter of next year.
It weighs 1.15 pounds (0.52 kilograms), less than the iPad's 1.5 pounds (0.68 kgs), and has a seven-inch (17.8-centimeter) screen, smaller than the 9.7-inch (24.6-cm) screen on the Apple device.
Unlike the iPad, which does not have a camera, the Cius features two -- a front-mounted high-definition camera which allows for HD video streaming and real-time video, and a five-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The Cius also offers email, instant messaging, Web browsing through Wi-Fi and eventually 4G connectivity, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or on the Internet, Cisco said in a statement.
Cisco said the device was designed to provide workers with "the ability to access and share the content they need from any place on the network."
"This platform can transform how healthcare professionals advance patient care, how retailers deliver service experiences to consumers, or how universities deliver world-class education to their students," said Tony Bates, a Cisco senior vice president.
US computer giant Dell last month unveiled a tablet computer called the "Streak" which is also powered by Google's Android.
Apple said last week that it has sold more than three million iPads since the device went on sale on April 3.
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