China asks retired military to fill posts at Foxconn's iPhone factory

Posted:
in iPhone
Faced with Foxconn struggling to resume full iPhone production after local COVID measures, China is asking ex-forces retirees to step in.




The impact of China's coronavirus lockdown has been marked enough for Foxconn to report of a severe revenue hit, and Apple to issue a rare statement about production delays. Foxconn has also, though, seen workers fleeing its Zhengzhou plant, further hampering its attempts to resume production.

According to the South China Morning Post, local authorities in the province are now trying to help. As part of a wider campaign for recruitment, the Veteran Affairs Bureau has posted an open letter to retired People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel.

Officials in Changge county, are asking ex-PLA people to "answer the government's call," and "take part in the resumption of production" at Foxconn Zhengzhou. The open letter calls on their history of service and asks that they "show up where there's a need."

Separately, local authorities have been attempting to recruit temporary staff from nearby cities.

In the meantime, Foxconn is also stepping up efforts to reduce its dependency on China by expanding production in India.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,207member
    Fascinating. I wonder if this means that those 'local authorities' are not as willing as Xi to discard all the benefits of productive engagement with Western companies. They might be whistling int he wind, but it's interesting to see. 
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    “No we have no connection to the government” says every Chinese and Russian company.
    But when the going gets tough, their true colours appear.
    The leopard cannot change its spots.
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,265member
    China never ceases to fascinate me.  Foxconn is a Taiwanese company by the way DAalseth.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,207member
    DAalseth said:
    “No we have no connection to the government” says every Chinese and Russian company.
    But when the going gets tough, their true colours appear.
    The leopard cannot change its spots.
    Yes, but Foxconn is Taiwanese, so that doesn't exactly apply here. 

    But it doesn't exactly not apply either.... every foreign company, including Apple, must yield to the absolute power of Emperor Xi if they want to do business in China. That's one of the biggest chinks in Apple's privacy armor --- Apple can say 'no' when a US or European government makes an illegal request for access to private data. But in China, all requests by Dear Leader are de facto legal, there's no appeals process. So when Apple says 'we follow the laws of the countries we operate in,' just know that means 'we will do whatever Xi tells us to do (within the limits of the laws of physics).' Which is why it's so important for Apple to NOT have the ability to decrypt your iPhone. The second Apple gains that ability, Xi has that ability. 
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    KTRKTR Posts: 278member
    retired military people.  Wouldn't they still have ties to the military.   And possible rouge companies ?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    DAalseth said:
    “No we have no connection to the government” says every Chinese and Russian company.
    But when the going gets tough, their true colours appear.
    The leopard cannot change its spots.

    Hmmm.

    This situation actually shows how utterly dependent the Chinese economy is on these massive manufacturing operations and how having even a single plant shut down creates a major economic crisis.

    Of course it's in the best interest of all government leaders at all levels to keep the money that these operations create flowing into their economy. I cannot think of a government anywhere in the world that would not engage whatever mitigation resources they have at their disposal during a crisis. State level governments in the US called up National Guard troops during the vaccine rollout phase of the Covid-19 to administer shots and help out in any ways they could because it was a national and statewide crisis that needed more people and state leaders have the discretion to engage those folks as needed.

    The only minimally strange thing (to non-Chinese citizens I suppose) is asking retired military folks to participate in factory work. Whether this is unusual depends on how China manages its retired military members. In the US, retired military members up to a certain age are considered to be in a reserve capacity and can be called back to serve if leaders deemed it necessary. This is just the way the US has decided to do things in its country. China obviously has its own ways of doing things in its country. How they engage those resources is up to them, not the US or any other country.

    I really don't see anything nefarious going on here. The bottom line, one that's very familiar to anyone who's served in any military, is that there's a very big difference for military members when the time comes for asking for "volunteers" to get something done. Military members are sometimes asked to "volunteer." But if they don't, or not enough of them "volunteer," they get "volunteered" by their leaders. The affected plants asked for volunteers in this crisis but only among those who obviously have the ability to not volunteer and say "no." So what do you do? You run the problem up the chain of command, which in this case ultimately landed it in the lap of leaders who have a source of able bodies that can be "volunteered" and will do whatever you "ask" them to do. When I worked on plant startups involving union workers I ran into similar issues trying to get stuff done on the floor. At some point getting stuff done usually ended with the company sending salaried workers down from their cushy offices in white shirts and ties to do the work, simply because they could be "volunteered" without the hassles of dealing with the union, who probably filed formal grievances after the fact anyway.

    If anything, this situation at these Chinese plants shows me how much more alike we are with them than we'd like to admit. There are always those who can't say "no." It also tells me that keeping these plants running is massively important to the Chinese economy. They need these plants running just as much as global capitalists who tap into their workforce need these plants running.


    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,993member
    If this was a FB post, I guess the proper response would be the laughing LOL like icon. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 527member
    Great sign of you are an Apple shareholder. This action shows the government for sure sees Apple and Foxconn as a partner and not enemy.

    They likely added a little fuel on the worker walkouts but now realized they went a little too far.

    in a couple months, I will bet you those who walked out will be in hands and knees trying to get the highest paying factory job in China back 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Definitely not a fan of the PLA stepping foot into an Apple plant - there'd soon be a HUAWEI clone of the iPhone (just ask Elon).

    Apple needs to get global production out of China.
    baconstangblastdoorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    DAalseth said:
    “No we have no connection to the government” says every Chinese and Russian company.
    But when the going gets tough, their true colours appear.
    The leopard cannot change its spots.
    Wow! An open letter from a local county organization quickly blows up to be an order imposed by Xi. LOL
  • Reply 11 of 16
    JP234 said:
    KTR said:
    retired military people.  Wouldn't they still have ties to the military.   And possible rouge companies ?

    The Chinese military probably isn't the biggest market for "rouge" companies.

    More concerning is the possibility that the Chinese government, (like all governments) is lying, and they're actually active military intelligence, tasked with installing some kind of hidden tracking/mining hardware capability to iPhones. Possibly without the knowledge of FoxConn. If iPhones were made here, it would be the NSA doing it.
    So Chinese government does not know iFixit will open a new iPhone at first time to tear apart it and examining every little detail of the iPhone? 
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 12 of 16
    I guess Bloomberg are just going to copy and paste from their denounced server article a few years back...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    "China asks retired military to fill posts at Foxconn's iPhone factory".

    The headline is missing "Or else..."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Is China really "asking" though...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    “No we have no connection to the government” says every Chinese and Russian company.
    But when the going gets tough, their true colours appear.
    The leopard cannot change its spots.
    Yes, but Foxconn is Taiwanese, so that doesn't exactly apply here. 

    But it doesn't exactly not apply either.... every foreign company, including Apple, must yield to the absolute power of Emperor Xi if they want to do business in China. That's one of the biggest chinks in Apple's privacy armor --- Apple can say 'no' when a US or European government makes an illegal request for access to private data. But in China, all requests by Dear Leader are de facto legal, there's no appeals process. So when Apple says 'we follow the laws of the countries we operate in,' just know that means 'we will do whatever Xi tells us to do (within the limits of the laws of physics).' Which is why it's so important for Apple to NOT have the ability to decrypt your iPhone. The second Apple gains that ability, Xi has that ability. 
    China does not have any more access to customer data than any country. Having the servers in China makes sense because of how our laws work. Can you imagine if our local and federal police departments had to go to a court in China to gain access to iCloud data to continue an investigation? That is what China had to do before requiring Apple to move China users to local servers. 
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