The manufacturing giant Foxconn, who supplies products to tech companies like Apple and Samsung, has announced that they have replaced more than half of one of its factories workforce with robots.
The factory in question is located in the city of Kunshan, China, and used to employ more than 110,000 people, but since the introduction of robots to the manufacturing line almost 60,000 of these jobs have become automated.
Foxconn told the BBC that they do not believe the automation process will result in long term job loss as they plan to retrain any displaced workers to work in research, development and quality control.
The Chinese manufacturing industry has already been massively investing in robotic endeavors. The head of publicity for the city of Kunshan has said that many more companies were likely to follow Foxconn’s lead, this is echoed in the city of Dongguan where 505 factories have already spent more than $640m USD on automations since 2014.
The trend of automation is beginning to move into Europe as well, with Adidas announcing that it is constructing a new ‘Speed Factory’ in Germany that will use robots to produce a new line of shoes.
These shoes will be the first produced by Adidas in Germany since the company moved its manufacturing to Asia almost 20 years ago. Adidas maintains that the factory is not intended to immediately replace the work of its Asian sub-contractors and that it doesn’t intend to move towards fully automated production.
Adidas is also planning to construct additional ‘Speed Factories’ in The United States, France and Britain.