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iPad maker to replace 1 million staff with robots

Foxconn to get automated in next 3 years

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The world's biggest computer components vendor plans to replace nearly its entire factory workforce with robots by 2014.

Foxconn, which makes kit for Apple, Sony and Nokia, said it would cut loose staff and reduce labour costs by automating spraying, welding and assembling jobs at its factories in China, where harsh working conditions have been blamed for a series of suicides at the company.

According to a report on official Chinese news agency Xinhua, which quotes Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou, the firm currently has 10,000 robots working on the production line.

Foxconn plans to increase that number to 300,000 over the course of the next year, and hopes to have 1 million robots effectively running the show by 2014.

It currently employs 1.2 million meat-based workers, with the majority of them based in mainland China. ®

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