iPhone Maker Adds China Plant, Despite Losses


Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronic components manufacturer with a less than stellar reputation on labor, has begun constructing a handset-assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, according to Digitimes. The new plant, where volume production should begin in the first quarter of 2011 at a rate of about 100,000 handsets monthly, joins a nearby handset component plant that just began production over the last two months. Meanwhile Foxconn also plans to expand an existing plant in the central China city of Wuhan.

This flurry of activity comes despite the fact that Foxconn isn’t doing so hot, financially, as we reported last month: a net loss of $143 million in the first half of 2010. Despite its massively lucrative contract with Apple–Foxconn manufactures its iPhones–a year of high-profile suicides among Foxconn’s laborers and the following media scrutiny has apparently led to soul-searching (including an in-house Buddhist monk), and financial restructuring, within the company.

But as the new constructions show, so long as Foxconn remains allied with Apple, there will still be plenty of business, even if the balance sheet has recently been in the red.DZ