Apple Supplier Hon Hai Kicks Off a Hiring Spree

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry – also known as Foxconn – has initiated a major recruitment drive in Taiwan as it seeks to add 15,000 employees to its workforce of over 1 million, reports Reuters. According to Chu Wen-min, a Hon Hai Precision Industry spokesperson cited by Reuters, the company is looking to fill job positions related to 4G networks, cloud services, and e-commerce.

Hon Hai is perhaps best known as the primary manufacturer of Apple’s iPad and iPhone products. According to Apple’s latest supplier list, the tech company used twenty-nine separate Hon Hai facilities for the manufacturing of its various products in 2014. However, Hon Hai is the biggest contract electronics assembler in the world and also makes products for many other tech companies, including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). According to BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) fiscal 2014 third-quarter results, Hon Hai also recently entered into a five-year strategic partnership with the company. Under the partnership, Hon Hai will “jointly develop and manufacture certain new BlackBerry devices and manage the inventory associated with those devices.”

However, Hon Hai has been expanding its business beyond making hardware for other tech companies into making and designing its own products and software. According to Reuters, the company recently announced plans to team up and build applications with Mozilla’s Firefox browser. As reported by Bloomberg last November, Hon Hai also revealed plans to spend $30 million over two years in order to build a high-tech manufacturing facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for making and designing its own products.

According to Hon Hai Chair Terry Gou, the Harrisburg facility will focus on manufacturing telecommunications equipment and Internet servers. “We’ll go from original component R&D through to a complete high-end production chain,” said Gou via Bloomberg. “However this is not, as assumed, manufacturing for a specific brand.”

According to WantChinaTimes, Hon Hai is preparing to launch its so-called “eight screens, one network, and one cloud” division. The “eight screens” is a reference to the eight types of devices that the division will produce: smartphones, tablets, notebooks, LED screens, all-in-one desktops, portable televisions, smart TVs, and electronic whiteboards. As noted by Reuters, the company recently acquired a license to operate a 4G network in Taiwan.

Hon Hai, or Foxconn, is also well known to Apple watchers for its controversial labor practices in some of its factories. Apple joined the Washington-based Fair Labor Association and implemented a compliance-monitoring program for its overseas suppliers in 2012 after a spate of Foxconn employee suicides.

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