Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), the Taipei-based maker of Apple Inc’s iPhone, plans to invest US$40 million in Pennsylvania to develop robotics, joining other manufacturers seeking to build products in the US.
Foxconn flagship company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) plans to invest US$30 million over two years to build a high-tech manufacturing facility for goods, including components for telecommunications equipment and Internet servers, Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said.
It also plans to fund US$10 million worth of research and development (R&D) at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, he said at an event in Washington on Thursday.
Foxconn will invest in a manufacturing unit in Harrisburg, the state capital, to create about 500 jobs, according to a company statement. It already has a manufacturing facility there that employs about 30 people.
“We have a long-term history in Harrisburg,” Gou said, adding that the investment is part of a US manufacturing “renaissance” that would boost US employment.
As the maker of some of US’ most popular consumer electronic devices and the operator of sprawling manufacturing facilities in China, Foxconn has emerged as a symbol of US outsourcing. The company, which counts Cupertino, California-based Apple as its largest client, said in December last year that it was seeking to expand its North American operations as customers request that more of their products be locally made.
“Hon Hai wants to put its dream into action,” Gou said, according to a statement from the company. “We’ll go from original component R&D through to a complete high-end production chain. However, this is not, as assumed, manufacturing for a specific brand.”
Foxconn, also a major supplier to Hewlett-Packard Co, has 1.6 million workers globally, including at factories in California and Texas that make partially assembled electronics products, Louis Woo, a company spokesman said at the time.
“We won’t be migrating Chinese production lines, but creating high-precision, high-tech, high value-added manufacturing in the US for future technology trends,” Gou said.
Hon Hai shares fell 0.5 percent to close at NT$74.60 in Taipei, underperforming the TAIEX, which rose 0.2 percent.