TAIPEI -- Taiwan tech giant Hon Hai group, (IW 1000/26) known by its trade name Foxconn, said Friday it was planning to invest $40 million in manufacturing and research facilities in the United States.
Hon Hai made the announcement as chairman Terry Gou visited the U.S. as part of a delegation of Taiwan business leaders to promote trade and technology cooperation, a company statement said.
Hon Hai said it planned to invest $30 million in two years and hire 500 new workers in its subsidiary in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to build a "high-value manufacturing base" for high-end electronics and other products.
It also aimed to invest $10 million in two years in a joint project with the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University, a leader in robotics, for automation research and development.
Hon Hai is the world's largest computer components manufacturer and assembles products for Apple -- including the iPhones -- as well as Sony and Nokia.
The company employs about one million workers in China, roughly half of them based at its main facility in the southern city of Shenzhen. It also has production facilities in more than 10 countries, including Vietnam, Brazil and Mexico.
In 2011, the company said it planned to mass produce industrial robots as part of its efforts to cope with labour shortages and rising wages in China.
It was hit by a spate of suicides at its Chinese plants in recent years, which activists blamed on tough working conditions and have called for better treatment of staff.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013