Those 52,500 workers have produced nearly US$1.8 billion in exports. Not bad for a plant that was just opened last year! In fact, despite the aforementioned plans to replace workers with robots, the Henan Foxconn plant is still hiring, and recruitment flyers can even be spotted in small villages around the province. Parts of the plant are still being finished, but at present the facility has 770,000 square meters of factory space, and another 990,000 square meters of dormitory space for workers, complete with all the amenities one would expect.
Foxconn is a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer. The company produces goods for several companies, but is most famous as the maker of shiny Apple gadgets like the iPhone and iPad. Foxconn — and by extension, Apple — has been plagued with labor complaints and a series of high-profile worker suicides for years. In 2010, things got so bad that Foxconn installed anti-suicide jumper nets on some of its buildings. But if the new Henan plant is any indication, deep depression, poor working conditions, and the promise of being soon replaced by robots are not enough to keep Chinese workers away from Foxconn.