For the past few weeks, there has been plenty of speculation about where Foxconn was going to open a new factory.
With problems mounting at its enormous, 300,000-strong, Longhua factory in Shenzhen, Foxconn said it was going to move large numbers of workers inland so they could be nearer their families, said Terry Gou, the head of the electronics manufacturer.
The rumours suggested that Sichuan or Tianjin were probable destinations, but it turns out that the company is opting for the not-very-well known town of Hebi, in Henan province.
According to the Hebi local government website, Foxconn is going to open a new mega-factory in the town, with 300,000 workers. It seems that 157,000 of its current Shenzhen workforce are from Henan, so they should welcome the chance to return home.
The local government says workers at the new plant will work eight hours a day for five days a week (we’ll have to delay judgement on that) and that their salaries will rise from 1,200 yuan ($176) a month to 2,000 yuan after a three-month probation period.
I’d guess that the location has much to do with Hebi’s proximity to Zhengzhou, which is a major railway hub. From there, goods can be transported to the ports at either Tianjin or Qingdao. But I would guess that this factory will serve clients in Japan, Korea or Taiwan. It is probably easier to ship to Europe and the US from Guangdong or Shanghai.