As plans get underway for iPhone 15 production, China’s largest iPhone factory (the Zhengzhou campus of Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn,) is offering bonuses after workers quit in droves in November.
According to job listings posted by the factory, workers who previously resigned are being offered a bonus of 7,500 RMB (1,050 USD) to return to the job. More experienced workers are being offered 8,000 RMB (1,100 USD), the highest bonus offered since protests led to major production delays in November 2022.
After thousands of workers quit over poor working conditions, Foxconn offered bonuses to new hires, but violent protests erupted when the new workers did not receive the advertised compensation. The protests at Foxconn stoked nationwide discontent over ongoing severe Covid restrictions, leading to unprecedented anti-regime demonstrations in cities across China.
The latest round of Foxconn Zhengzhou recruitment comes as Apple shifts more of its manufacturing to other countries in the region. Around 5-7% of Apple’s production currently takes place in India, which the tech giant reportedly hopes to raise to 25%. Foxconn recently invested 700 million USD in a new manufacturing site in India’s Karnataka state. Two other Taiwanese global supply companies, Pegatron and Wistron, also produce Apple products in India.
Reports in April also revealed Apple is considering producing some parts for its laptops in Thailand, which is currently where production for the Apple Watch is based. Another Taiwanese firm Compal, which primarily manufactures the iPad and Apple Watch, recently invested 30 million USD in a plot of land in Vietnam where it hopes to expand production capacity.
Apple is hoping to reduce its reliance on China as tense US-China relations could risk huge disruptions to production in future. Whilst recent meetings between high-level officials on both sides have led to talk of a thaw in relations, it remains to be seen whether hostility will be reduced in the long term.