By now, you may have seen the announcement from Foxconn that it has slashed its long-term revenue growth target in half (It is still a very respectable 15%). That bit of bad news, coupled with a $143 million loss in the first half, has shaken Foxconn’s investors.
Foxconn’s woes come in the wake of a series of suicides at its enormous Shenzhen plant, which may well be the largest electronics factory in the world. At the time, I speculated that many of the suicides may have been helped along by the large compensation being paid by Foxconn to the families of dead workers.
There’s been no news of any further deaths for the last month or so, but judging from the chairman’s statements to BusinessWeek, the problem is pretty deep. Terry Gou says he has spent all of the last three months dealing with the issues.
And on September 2, there was a curious little item in the Shanghai Morning Post. Thirty Foxconn security guards were protesting that they had been unfairly sacked. The venue for the protests? The roof of Foxconn’s administration building in Shenzhen. Evidently there’s still a feeling among the employees that if they really want their bosses to pay them attention, the best thing is to threaten to jump.