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iPad maker goes Brazilian

Cost-trimming for Taiwanese giant

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iPad and iPhone maker Foxconn is considering a big investment in Brazil.

Foxconn is a huge group with annual turnover of $62bn and about a million employees, many in mainland China; it claims to be China's biggest exporter. It runs the huge Shenzhen campus, which has been the scene of worker protests and suicides. It makes parts for Apple, and just about every other technology company.

The hint of a move came from Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, currently visiting China. She told AFP that Foxconn was considering a $12bn spending spree in Brazil – enough for a substantial manufacturing facility, or two. The move is possible within the next five to six years and the government was forming a working group to look at issues raised, she said.

Chinese companies are struggling with wage inflation and demands for improved working conditions from workers on the mainland.

Increasingly companies are choosing inland sites where wages are lower and jobs scarcer.

As the economy continues to grow in China so companies will continue to look overseas in order to cut costs; Chinese investment in Africa shows no sign of slowing.

Last year, Foxconn hit back at claims of unusually high suicide rates at its factories. ®

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