Foxconn Mulls Building Plant in WI That Could Employ Thousands

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iPhones and other devices—glass, screws, and plastic casing, for example—are manufactured in close proximity.

“The entire supply chain is in China now,” a former Apple executive told the New York Times, which in 2012 published a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles that looked closely at the production of Apple devices in China. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”

Another article in the New York Times’ iEconomy series examined the “human costs” at electronics assembly hubs in China. Between 2009 and 2011, at least 19 Foxconn workers “attempted suicide or fell from buildings in manners that suggested suicide attempts,” the newspaper reported.

Besides the grueling working conditions that some Foxconn workers have reported enduring, the company has also been criticized for announcing plans to invest in a new facility and create jobs, but failing to follow through.

As the Washington Post reported earlier this year, Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou said in 2013 that his company would invest $30 million and hire 500 people to build a factory in Pennsylvania. According to the report, four years have passed and “the factory was never built. The jobs never came.”

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Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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