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In this May 10, 2019, file photo, a customer looks at her iPhone at an Apple store in Beijing. Apple suppliers in China are currently scrambling to hire new workers for the ramp-up of the iPhone 13. Photo: AP

New hires wanted: Apple suppliers in China scramble for workers ahead of iPhone 13 launch

  • Foxconn is not the only Apple supplier scrambling for new workers – Lens Technology and Luxshare Precision have rolled out similar hiring incentives
  • Apple is targeting to ship 130 to 150 million new iPhones in the second half of 2021, according to one analyst

Apple suppliers in China, including the world’s largest iPhone factory, are raising their starter bonuses amid stiff competition for the shrinking pool of young people willing to do manufacturing jobs, as production ramps up on new models expected to launch in September.

Foxconn Technology Group’s factory in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, which produces an estimated 80 per cent of the world’s iPhones, has raised the bonus for new hires to another record-high of 10,200 yuan (US$1,578) if they stay for at least 90 days upon enrolment in its integrated Digital Product Business Group (iDPBG), which assembles iPhones.

The offer came just two weeks after it raised the reward amount to 10,000 yuan on July 23.

Out of the total bonus, the iDPBG worker will receive 9,500 yuan while 700 yuan goes to the person who referred them, according to the company’s latest recruitment post on Thursday.

Foxconn is not the only Apple supplier in China that is scrambling for new workers. Lens Technology, which supplies Apple with touch screens, and Luxshare Precision, have rolled out similar hiring incentives.

World’s largest iPhone factory rushes to hire back staff ahead of iPhone 13

Lens Technology, which is recruiting 5,000 workers for its production lines and a further 2,000 as quality inspectors, has doubled the bonus for new hires from 5,000 yuan in February to 10,000 yuan in May. Workers who are employed for more than 20 days per month for seven months will be eligible for the bonus.

Luxshare Precision’s Dongguan factory in Guangdong province has doubled its internal referral bonus from 2,500 yuan in April to 5,000 yuan in late May. The company also announced a top-up bonus of 3,800 yuan for returning workers who had previously left the company, according to recruitment advertisements posted on its official WeChat account.

The hiring push is meant to cope with ramped up production for new iPhone models. Apple is targeting to ship 130 to 150 million new iPhone units in the second half of 2021, Dan Ives, managing director at investment firm Wedbush Securities, said in a research note published in June.

Apple’s supply chain in Asia will enable production of 90 to 100 million units to meet initial orders for the iPhone 13, Ives said.

Employees work inside a Foxconn factory in Longhua, Guangdong province in this file photo from May 26, 2010. Over the past decade, wages for factory workers in China have tripled. Photo: Reuters
China, home to more Apple suppliers than any other country, is integral to the Cupertino-based company’s supply chain. Over the past three years, Apple has added more new suppliers from mainland China to its vendor list than any other country despite the talk of decoupling between the world’s two largest economies.

At the same time, growth in China’s labour force has peaked, with factory jobs in particular quickly losing appeal among the country’s younger generation. According to China’s latest census, the working population – defined as those aged between 15 and 59 – declined to 63.4 per cent in 2020 from over 70 per cent a decade ago, resulting in a steady increase in wages.

In Zhengzhou, for instance, the per capita income for rural residents – the largest source of labour for the Foxconn factory – was 9,225 yuan in 2010, the year the Foxconn factory began operating. Since then it has nearly tripled to 24,783 yuan, according to local government statistics.

Over the same period, the minimum wage in the city has gone from 800 yuan a month a decade ago to 1,900 yuan a month last year.