Foxconn, the king of contract manufacturing

Undoubtedly, many of our readers will access this Newsletter through an iPhone, iPad or MacBook.

Many others, will mount a GoPro camera on their bike helmet in their free time.

Others may read a book on an Amazon Kindle.

And who knows, they may even have just bought a Playstation or a Wii as a Christmas present for their children.

All these people have at least one thing in common. They have a tech product that has been assembled, not by, Apple, GoPro, Amazon, Sony or Nintendo, in their home or office but by the world’s largest industrial outsourcing company; the Taiwanese company, Foxconn.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (officially called Foxconn) is a multinational company based in Taipei, Taiwan.

Its business model is based on specializing in the outsourced production of countless consumer technology items. To this end, it builds factories in countries where relatively low labor costs are combined with a substantial knowledge base and a world-class infrastructure.

The company may have approximately 1,200,000 employees, mostly working in China and depending on their existing contracts, with brands and design owners.

It was at its main production center in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, that a wave of employee suicides took place in 2010 from overly high-pressure working conditions.  The company, under pressure from its consumers, the press and its main customer; Apple, implemented a set of measures to improve staff working conditions.

Today, Foxconn has expanded its network of industrial plants substantially with investments in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Hungary, India and even the EU, among others.

Foxconn had a turnover of more than 150 billion euros in 2019.