IPhone Maker Foxconn Plans Pennsylvania Investment

Foxconn Technology Group, the Taipei-based maker of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, said today it plans to invest $40 million in facilities in Pennsylvania.

Foxconn flagship company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. intends to invest $30 million in high-technology manufacturing for goods including telecommunications components and $10 million for research on robotics at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, C. Alan Walker, Pennsylvania’s secretary of Community and Economic Development, said at an event in Washington.

“We’re very pleased that companies from overseas are looking to grow in Pennsylvania,” Walker said.

As the maker of some of America’s most popular consumer electronic devices, Foxconn, which has sprawling manufacturing operations in China, has become a symbol of U.S. outsourcing. Apple, of Cupertino, California, is its largest client.

Foxconn, also a major supplier to Hewlett-Packard Co., said in December that it’s seeking to expand North American operations as customers request more of their products be domestically made. Foxconn has 1.6 million workers globally, including factories in California and Texas that make partially-assembled products such as servers, Louis Woo, a company spokesman said at the time.

Terry Gou, the billionaire chairman of Foxconn, will sign a memorandum of understanding with Pennsylvania, Walker said. Gou was part of a high-profile delegation of business leaders from Taiwan visiting the U.S.

Signing Ceremony

No site has been selected yet for the new Foxconn facility as the discussions are in “the very early stages,” Steven Kratz, a spokesman for Pennsylvania’s Community and Economic Development Department, said by telephone. The company isn’t pursuing state assistance, he said.

The project will employ 500 people over two years, Kratz said. The company already has a facility in Harrisburg, the state capital, which employs 30, he said.

Hon Hai’s net income for the third quarter rose 1.6 percent to NT$30.8 billion ($1 billion), beating analyst estimates, according to a Nov. 13 filing by the company to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Gou is part of a business delegation led by Taiwan’s former Vice President Vincent Siew that’s visiting New York, Washington and San Francisco this week. Other members of the group include Douglas Tong Hsu, chairman of Far Eastern Group -- which has holdings in industries including energy, retail and construction -- and Susan Wang, vice chairman of chemical manufacturer Formosa Plastics Group.

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