Posts tagged ‘Five-year plans of the People’s Republic of China’

27/05/2016

Foxconn replaces ‘60,000 factory workers with robots’ – BBC News

If manufacturers like Foxconn and high street companies like McDonald’s and, no doubt soon, offices too start replacing humans with robots, where will it all end? Where will all the ‘surplus’ people find jobs and pay.  And, eventually, who will be able to afford the iPhones, the hamburgers and so forth?  Won’t it be self-defeating in the long run for the employers with no customers or, at best, not enough customers to keep all the robots occupied and earning their keep.

“One factory has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots”, a government official told the South China Morning Post.

Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: “More companies are likely to follow suit.”

China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.

In a statement to the BBC, Foxconn Technology Group confirmed that it was automating “many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operations” but denied that it meant long-term job losses.

“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.

“We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China.”

Since September 2014, 505 factories across Dongguan, in the Guangdong province, have invested 4.2bn yuan (£430m) in robots, aiming to replace thousands of workers.

Kunshan, Jiangsu province, is a manufacturing hub for the electronics industry.

Economists have issued dire warnings about how automation will affect the job market, with one report, from consultants Deloitte in partnership with Oxford University, suggesting that 35% of jobs were at risk over the next 20 years.

Former McDonald’s chief executive Ed Rensi recently told the US’s Fox Business programme a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour would make companies consider robot workers.

“It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who is inefficient, making $15 an hour bagging French fries,” he said.”

Source: Foxconn replaces ‘60,000 factory workers with robots’ – BBC News

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22/01/2014

* 540 mln Chinese have social security cards – Xinhua | English.news.cn

By the end of 2013, 540 million Chinese people, or roughly 40 percent of China\’s population, had social security cards, which are issued to facilitate medical and other social security services, new data showed on Tuesday.

Hu Xiaoyi, vice minister of human resources and social security, revealed the data at a seminar on Tuesday, adding that the number is expected to reach 650 million by the end of 2014.

The country aims to issue 800 million social security cards by the end of 2015, covering about 60 percent of its total population, according to China\’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

At present, social security cards are mainly used to pay for medical expenses. In the future, services will be expanded to allow card holders to draw pensions and pay for social insurance programs, Hu said.

via 540 mln Chinese have social security cards – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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29/12/2013

Chinese officials banned from smoking in public – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Chinese officials are asked to \”take the lead\” in adhering to the smoking ban in public spaces.

The No Smoking sign, designed by one of the me...

The No Smoking sign, designed by one of the members of AIGA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to a circular from the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, officials are not allowed to smoke in schools, hospitals, sports venues, public transport vehicles, or any other venues where smoking is banned.

Government functionaries are prohibited from using public funds to buy cigarettes, nor are they permitted to smoke or offer cigarettes when performing official duties, the circular notes.

\”Smoking remains a relatively universal phenomenon in public venues. Some officials smoke in public places, which does not only jeopardized the environment and public health, but tarnished the image of Party and government offices and leaders and has a negative influence,\” reads the circular.

The sale of tobacco products and advertisements will no longer be allowed in Party and government offices. Prominent notices of smoking bans must be displayed in meeting rooms, reception offices, passageways, cafeterias and rest rooms.

China is the world\’s largest cigarette producer and consumer. The number of smokers exceeds 300 million, with at least 740 million nonsmokers regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

In 2003, China signed the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and it became effective in January 2006. The FCTC requires a reduction in tobacco supply as well as consumption. The 12th Five-Year plan (2011-2015) promised to ban smoking in public places.

Experts are widely critical of the current government effort, which lags far behind the FCTC standard, and no national law is yet in place banning smoking in indoor public places.

via Chinese officials banned from smoking in public – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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