EMPLOYMENT LAW

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1. What accounted for the growth of Foxconn?

Technically a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Foxconn opened its first mainland Chinese plant in 1988, and now operates 13 factories in nine Chinese cities and a growing constellation of factories in nine foreign countries. Founded by Taiwanese entrepreneur Terry Gou with $7,500 he borrowed from his mother Hon Hai went public on the Taiwan stock exchange in 1991. Within a year of its starting to manufacture PC Cases it became one of the leading companies in this segment. It also became a leader in motherboard manufacturing. Expanding globally and going in for acquisitions, Hon Hai became a leader in the electronics manufacturing industry with the name Foxconn. Hon Hai/Foxconn has grown into a Fortune Global 500 company and greater China’s largest exporter, a $31-billion giant with 55,000 patents in its portfolio. It also continues to move fast: according to the Hon Hai 2012 annual report, the company ranked eighth in terms of number of patents on a global basis, and climbed from the number 60 in the Fortune Global 500 to number 43. It also has long-standing relationships with most of the world’s top tech brands, including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, and most importantly, Apple, which in recent years has relied on Foxconn to make most of its top-selling iPods, iPads and iPhones and contributes about 40% of Foxconn’s revenue. Foxconn is China’s largest private employer, the world’s third-largest private employer (after Walmart and McDonald’s), and world’s 10th largest employer

2. How did the management of Foxconn deal with labour issues?

In May 2010, citing a letter containing the last words of an employee and a few survey reports on suicide, Foxconn ended the practice of making payments to the families of suicide victims Foxconn undertook were the erection of safety nets around the

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