| Workers attend the ceremony as a new Foxconn Technology Group factory began production in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, Aug. 2, 2010. The 100 million U.S. dollar factory is owned by Futaihua Precision Electronics (Zhengzhou) Co. Ltd., a 100 percent-owned Foxconn subsidiary. It will mostly produce Apple's iPhone, according to an agreement between Foxconn and the government of Zhengzhou City. (Xinhua/Wang Song)
ZHENGZHOU, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- A new Foxconn Technology Group factory in central China's Henan Province began production Monday, as the Taiwanese high-tech giant has begun moving its factory production to inland China.
The 100 million U.S. dollar factory is owned by Futaihua Precision Electronics (Zhengzhou) Co. Ltd., a Foxconn subsidiary.
It will primarily produce Apple's iPhone, according to an agreement between Foxconn and the government of Zhengzhou, Henan's capital city.
This year, several Foxconn workers committed suicide, raising questions about the company's management of its workers.
A Xinhua reporter saw more than 500 employees working on a production line at a temporary workshop the company has rented from the city government, which was located at Zhengzhou New District in the eastern suburbs of Zhengzhou.
Construction of the company's permanent plant will begin on Aug. 20 at a site several kilometers away. The permanent plant is expected to begin production in one year and create an annual export volume of more than 13 billion U.S. dollars.
It will form the capacity to make about 200,000 cell phones per day, with nearly 200,000 employees employed at the factory.
The name of the site for the permanent plant, "Pingzhen", can be seen on the standardized T-shirt worn by all Foxconn workers.
"In this name, 'Ping' means peace and 'Zhen' means calm. We will strive to make the 'town' peaceful and prosperous," said Lin Zhenghui, deputy general manager of the group.
The workers are being housed in several seven-story buildings just several hundred meters from the factory.
The workers also have access to sports fields, fitness facilities, reading rooms and TV rooms.
Nine out of ten employees in the factory are from Henan and have worked at Foxconn's plant in the coastal city of Shenzhen. These employees volunteered to work at the new plant, said a Futaihua spokesman.
In a few months, nearly 10,000 workers would live in the community, the spokesman said.
"I' m satisfied with the new company's living conditions," said Li Gongchen, a Futaihua worker from Zhoukou City of Henan.
"I like my work and life in Shenzhen. But, Henan is my hometown. I will enjoy a more stable life and work with much sense of belonging here," said Peng Jinlong, another Futaihua worker from Xinyang City of Henan.
Several workers told Xinhua that they believe the company would offer them "a reasonable remuneration package".
Foxconn is warmly welcomed by the local government, which has been seeking to accommodate its surplus laborers from the rural areas. Henan is the most populous Chinese province.
Thanks to the government' s coordination, the new plant finished its preparations, including renovation of the workshops and the workers' dormitories and opening of facilities, within one month.
"No other Foxconn plant has launched production in such a short time," Lin said.
"We've provided many conveniences for Foxconn's locating here, such as opening a fast track for the import of its facilities and construction materials," said Liang Andong, a local government official.
"We welcome advanced manufacturing companies like Foxconn," said Song Xuantao, vice governor of Henan.
In July, Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the parent company of Foxconn, registered to build two factories in Henan to produce cell phones and related devices.
It remains unknown when the factory, owned by Hongfujin Precision Electronics (Zhengzhou) Co. Ltd., another Foxconn' s subsidiary, will begin production.
Besides Henan, Foxconn has opened plants in the inland regions of Hebei, Shanxi, Hubei and Chongqing. In July, the company also invested in two factories in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province.
"We moved into Henan, on the one hand, to secure our status as the world' s biggest electronics contractor making high-tech products as well as, on the other hand, to set up our own sales network and Development & Research department," Lin said.
Foxconn is talking with the provincial government about opening some 2,000 chain stores selling IT products and home appliances as an attempt to diversify its business model.
"This shows that Foxconn targets not only the low labor costs of inland areas, but also the huge market," said Shi Pu, a professor with Henan University of Economics and Law.