As its way of dealing with the Holiday shopping rush, Apple supplier Foxconn recently augmented its China workforce by 100,000 new employees.

According to reports from Chinese state media, Foxconn recently conducted a massive recruitment spree for what could be the largest iPhone manufacturing center in China. This was done to mitigate supply chain issues currently being faced by Apple at its assembly facility in Zhengzhou and to ensure that shipments of the new iPhone 14 hit the market at the height of the year-end shopping frenzy.

As of press time, Foxconn executive Yang Han has advised the media that the company has met its assembly quota and, as a result, hiring is now on hold.

Indeed, the Chinese government made an unprecedented move by calling on community officials and military veterans to help out at the Foxconn assembly lines. One hiring notice posted by the veterans’ affairs bureau in Henan province featured a call to action, advising retired soldiers to serve as an important national resource and share their talents by working at Foxconn.

The bureau announcement further stated that taking the initiative to go back to work would be of great help in light of the way COVID-centric safety policies have reduced the number of workers for Foxconn as well as other manufacturing establishments.

Local Government Intervention

Likewise, a number of local government units within Henan requested community officials to join production lines. These grassroots officials or cadres were advised to spend between one to six months as part of the Foxconn workforce in Zhengzhou in order to help the company meet production quotas as the global demand for the iPhone 14, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max have grown exponentially since these were launched.

That said, the Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou is considered the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant. Under ordinary circumstances, Zhengzhou accounts for around 50% to 60% of the company’s total phone assembly capacity based on findings by supply chain risk analytics firm Everstream.

However, due to ongoing issues with the global supply chain, Apple has warned customers to expect both delays and shortfall with regard to the supply of new-model iPhones being shipped out of China. Despite the augmented workforce, it is expected that the wait time for new-model devices will still take an average of around 34 days and, given demand, it may be unlikely for stores to stock enough of these products to meet all the gifting requirements of the season.