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    Thousands of jobseekers queue at Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, hoping for fat sign-on bonus as iPhone production season looms


    Iris Deng Published: 11:00pm, 25 Jul, 2022

    Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group is stepping up hiring at its Shenzhen factories, including fatter bonuses to lure jobseekers ahead of peak production season for new iPhone models.

    At Foxconn’s Shenzhen campus in the Longhua district, thousands of jobseekers lined up at the recruitment and training centre gate to register on Monday afternoon, despite the sweltering heat and strict Covid-19 rules.
    Hundreds of jobseekers arrived in shuttle buses and cars, provided by several recruitment agencies, readying themselves for interviews and medical check-ups. Successful candidates will be officially enrolled on Tuesday, according to recruiters the Post spoke to on site.

    One recruiter from Longhua Human Resources Market, surnamed Huang, estimated that recently, around 2,000 candidates had been there to go through the recruitment process each day.

    However, Huang said this was still below the peaks of 8,000 to 9,000 workers he has seen during the high season that runs between August and September.
    Huang, who brought around 70 candidates to the recruitment site on Monday, said fewer people were coming to apply for jobs at Foxconn compared to the same time last year because of the Covid-19 situation.

    “It’s harder for people to travel to Shenzhen from other cities, and there are a few Covid-19 cases in the Longhua district too … so some people are reluctant to come here,” Huang said.

    Foxconn has asked all candidates to take Covid tests everyday for the past three days, and checked their locations to ensure they were not in any high risk areas, said a recruitment person from Foxconn.

    “This is no joke, we take the Covid policies very seriously,” the Foxconn staffer said. “We report to local authorities every day about employee Covid test results and our control measures.”

    Many agencies have had to turn down candidates travelling from high-risk areas, including those from Chengdu and Shanghai, said another agency recruiter, adding that most of the candidates he had brought to Foxconn on Monday were based locally in Shenzhen.

    Foxconn is on the list of key industrial enterprises in Shenzhen that have been advised to adopt a closed-loop production mode for seven days as the city battles a mini Covid-19 outbreak.

    This requires strict screening and quarantine of all people in the campus. When Shenzhen imposed a week of lockdown in March, Foxconn was among the first companies to resume production due to its importance to the local economy and value chains.

    Foxconn’s hiring spree in Shenzhen comes ahead of the launch of Apple’s iPhone 14, which is expected to be on sale in September. Foxconn’s Zhengzhou production complex, the world’s largest iPhone factory, started its new recruitment campaign, offering generous cash rewards, last month.

    In order to lure more job hunters in Shenzhen, some hiring agencies have touted bonuses of up to 7,480 yuan (US$1,108) for a permanent hire at Foxconn’s component production unit, known as the Product Enclosure Business Group.
    At Foxconn’s integrated Digital Product Business Group, the division responsible for iPhone assembly, new hires can receive a bonus of up to 4,980 yuan, according to job ads posted by recruitment agencies.

    Shenzhen’s supply chain is facing new risks as the city of nearly 18 million residents reported eight confirmed cases and 13 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases on Sunday, a slow but steady increase from the single-digit caseload reported earlier this month.

    Although the current outbreak remains relatively small, Shenzhen has vowed to stamp it out in line with the country’s zero-Covid policies.

    “We must mobilise all resources and adopt all measures to quickly eliminate the risk of community spread in key areas, resolutely cut transmission chains and contain the outbreak as quickly as possible,” Meng Fanli, the city’s party chief, told a Covid-19 control meeting last week.
    The Shenzhen government has put dozens of residential buildings under lockdown to contain the rising number of Covid-19 cases, and suspended the subway service at Xiasha station in Futian district.