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Walk-in visitors without prior appointment or online order queue up outside Apple Store at IFC in Central to experience Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro which are available in-store today. 23OCT20 SCMP / Winson Wong

China floods: Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier, rushes to hire workers with record-high cash bonuses

  • Foxconn is offering a signing bonus worth up to US$1,532 to people willing to work on the production line as Zhengzhou copes with aftermath of flooding
  • Apple’s next generation of iPhones are expected to launch in September

The world’s largest iPhone factory, located in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, is raising its cash rewards for new workers to yet another record-high as Foxconn Technology Group ramps up production capacity amid extreme levels of rainfall that has led to the death of at least 56 people and displaced more than 7.5 million.

The Taiwanese company’s integrated Digital Product Business Group (iDPBG) unit – a division of Foxconn that is responsible for iPhone assembly – is offering up to 10,000 yuan (US$1,542) as a signing bonus to people who are willing to work on the factory’s production line as the city continues to struggle with the aftermath of the flood.

The latest cash bonuses, effective immediately on Saturday, are already 2,000 yuan higher than the rewards offered just a week ago and are the highest since the factory started operations in 2010, according to the South China Morning Post’s review of past recruitment advertisements.

New iDPBG workers will get a signing bonus ranging from 8,500 to 9,500 yuan after working on the production line for 90 days, according to the company’s latest recruitment ad. Those who refer new workers will also get a bonus of 500 yuan, bringing the total cash rewards to 10,000 yuan.

Dozens feared dead after becoming trapped in flooded road tunnel in China

The record-high bonus initiative at the Zhengzhou facility comes as Foxconn is under pressure to meet production targets ahead of the launch of Apple’s newest iPhone, expected in September.

Apple is targeting to ship 130 to 150 million new iPhone units for the second half of 2021, according to Dan Ives, managing director at investment firm Wedbush Securities, in a research note published in June. Its supply chain in Asia will enable the production of 90 to 100 million units to meet the initial orders for iPhone 13, Ives said.

The floods have made this more difficult after the company was forced to put workers at its facility in Zhongmu County, outside Zhengzhou’s city centre, on leave for at least three days.

Foxconn told Chinese media the 21st Century Business Herald on Friday that the Zhongmu plant was mainly responsible for manufacturing PC components, and its major plants responsible for the production of smartphones remained normal operations.

The manufacturing giant has over 250,000 workers spread through its three Zhengzhou facilities. During peak season, that number can exceed 300,000.

Jobseekers lined up outside the gathering point to wait for a bus to pick them up on October 14, 2021. Photo: Orange Wang

China, home to more Apple suppliers than any other country, is integral to the Cupertino-based company’s supply chain.

The country has also been able to recover quickly from the Covid-19 pandemic while India and Vietnam, where Foxconn’s other iPhone production facilities are located, have been hit by new waves of outbreaks.

“The number of orders for Foxconn in the airport zone has multiplied this year,” said a recruitment agency in a job advert posted on Friday. “Because factories in India were affected by the pandemic, Apple’s orders have come to Foxconn. There will be a lot of overtime work.”

“Foxconn will be operating at its peak after the flood, and the wages will also reach their peak during this period. Don’t hesitate to join us,” the agency said.