Apple and Samsung manufacturing partner Foxconn has been able to cut 60,000 jobs and replace workers with robots, according to reports.
The Chinese firm, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of electronics, admitted automating “many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operators.”
The company employs 1.2 million people across China and has denied the upgrades had been made to cut jobs.
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Instead, the firm says those employees have been moved onto “higher value-added elements” of the manufacturing process.
In a statement given to the BBC, Foxconn said: “We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control.
Foxconn is responsible for building consumer technology for a number of the world’s largest companies.
Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy devices and the Sony PS4 are all manufactured by the company.