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Foxconn offers higher rates for Huawei workers than Apple workers

Foxconn Technology Group, one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, is offering higher rates for workers that make Huawei Technologies’ handsets in southern tech hub Shenzhen than those that make iPhones, according to recruitment posts and information from labour agencies.

Foxconn’s FIH unit, which makes Huawei smartphones and operates under a subsidiary previously known as Foxconn International Holdings, on Thursday was offering a 26 yuan (US$3.60) hourly rate for new workers at its factory in Shenzhen’s Longhua district, according to two recruitment agents. This is higher than the hourly rate of 21 yuan offered at Foxconn’s integrated Digital Product Business Group (iDPBG), which makes iPhones.

The FIH unit, which assembles handsets and various consumer electronics devices for Huawei and other smartphone firms, mainly serves Huawei these days, according to a report by local newspaper China Business News.

“The new hires will know what phone they are making after the factory allocates them to different teams based on current demand, but these days they have a higher chance of making handsets for Huawei,” an agent in Shenzhen surnamed Xu said.

Taiwan-based Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, did not immediately reply to a request for comment on hourly rates.

The hiring spree comes amid a production race with both Apple and Huawei recently launching new 5G handsets in the world’s biggest smartphone market.

Apple launched its iPhone 15 series on Tuesday, with the handsets officially hitting shelves on September 22. The iPhone 15 has received mixed reviews from Chinese netizens, while US-blacklisted Huawei’s new Mate 60 Pro and Mate 60 Pro+ handsets have been riding a wave of patriotic fervour on the back of its advanced, made-in-China chip.

There are many factors at play when it comes to hourly rates at the different units under Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer.

Xu, the recruitment agent, said the hourly rates offered by FIH are normally higher than iDPBG because the iPhone production unit typically offers better welfare programmes for workers than others.

In Zhengzhou, capital of central Henan province where the world’s largest iPhone factory is located, Foxconn is offering peak season signing bonuses of 6,480 yuan per person at the company’s Product Enclosure Business Group, which is responsible for producing mechanical parts for the iPhone, according to a job posting on Monday.

Although China remains its most important production centre, Apple has been diversifying its supply chain amid rising geopolitical tensions. The Cupertino, California-based company will make India-built iPhone 15s available on the global sales debut day for the first time, according to a report by Bloomberg earlier this week citing anonymous sources.

While Apple started iPhone 15 production in Foxconn’s Indian factory last month, the vast majority of the latest iPhone 15 series will come from China, the report said.

The US tech giant is facing one of its toughest sales seasons in China because of US-blacklisted Huawei’s resurgence in the smartphone market and the Chinese government’s iPhone curbs.

Shenzhen-based Huawei announced a launch ceremony for its new products on September 25, raising speculation that the firm will shed light on the mysterious chip inside the Mate 60 Pro.

The company has raised its smartphone shipment target for the second half of 2023 by 20 per cent, amid buoyant presales of the Mate 60 Pro, according to a report by Chinese newspaper Securities Daily. South China Morning Post

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