Foxconn Claims Brazilian iPad Production to Begin in December

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Foxconn's Brazilian expansion plans have been on-again off-again ever since the $12 billion proposal was announced earlier this year. Today, Reuters is reporting that Foxconn will start producing iPads in Brazil this December, but the company is still in negotiations with the Brazilian government about the size of Foxconn's investments in Brazil and the level of government involvement in the project.
    The Brazilian iPad project has gone through the typical ups-and-downs associated with large investment projects. Foxconn is seeking tax breaks and other concessions from the Brazilian government in exchange for location new factories within the country. As recently as two weeks ago, it was reported that the deal was in trouble, but it seems those concerns have been alleviated with this report.

    Article Link: Foxconn Claims Brazilian iPad Production to Begin in December
  2. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    For those able to read Portuguese, here is a link with more complete information:

    So yes; the deal seems close to being confirmed now, with a more than welcome demand from the Brazilian government as well: that all such fiscal and logistical concessions be balanced by virtually unrestricted technology transfer from Foxconn, so that a true trickle-down "expertise" cluster effect can take place in the country.

    If this comes to fruition, it is really a great move by Brazil, one that will finally enable a fast-growing, democratic Western country to serve as a major production hub for high-tech products (today monopolized by Asian sweatshops).
  3. frozencarbonite macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    I really hope there are not any suicides like they have had China. It's really sad.
  4. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Do we really need to go into that again?

    1 - Even for China, the number of suicides is at the same level or below average domestic suicide rates;

    2 - Brazil, which is not a sweatshop like China or India, has one of the most generous labor regimes in the world (too much in my opinion) in terms of social security and employee rights - it is very expensive to hire or fire any employee in Brazil. Not to mention that the country already offers higher executive/CEO-level salaries when compared to the averages in the US or Western Europe.
  5. aleksoctop macrumors regular

    May 8, 2011
    Thanks for writing that. So sick of people making misinformed assessment of the situation.
  6. JabbaII macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2007
    Yes, I am sure Foxconn picked Brazil for the above points. You do understand Foxconn can provide the same generosity in China too.
  7. frozencarbonite macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    I understand both of those points. I look at it this way... no matter the number of suicides and no matter whether or not the workers had to work in sweatshop conditions, human beings died.

    It's just very sad that those individuals felt so guilty, scared, horrible, etc. that they felt the only option was to take their own life.

    I'm just saying that I hope conditions are better for the workers in Brazil. The secrecy that Apple insists on is ridiculous. I'm not saying that those suicides were Apple's fault. I just feel that Apple takes secrecy too seriously.
  8. cara0910 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    BRLawyer, você é advogado? I don't believe that you could read into that comment as much as you did. Take it for what it is: an expression of sadness that people committed suicide. Just a note, though: I don't see many Brazilian lawyers killing themselves.

    Also, just because Brazil has a terrible problem with inequality and a burdensome state apparatus does not make it a great place to live for many Brazilians. I live in Brazil, and CEO salaries don't matter to the many people living in slums or terrible, broken-down suburbs without carteira assinada. They certainly won't matter to the workers at the factory. So that point is completely irrelevant.

    People think inequality is bad in the U.S. They should come here to see the millionaire corrupt a**holes next to people making virtually nothing, a housing boom that's out of control, and a two-tiered system of those who get the privilege to work inside the government and make inflated salaries while their counterparts in the private market make 1/10th of what they make.

    The reason that this factory is being built is that the Brazilian government is protectionist and the domestic market is too huge and too into consumerism to miss out on. Just for those of you who don't know: the LOW-END mpb costs 3600 reais here because of import taxes. That's over $2000 and was about $2600 before the real became weaker about a month ago.
  9. mallom macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Sad news for me... I'm Brazilian, and I'm always bringing laptops and iphones with me to sell and make some money down there. :p
  10. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    The question you ask is legitimate, and I fully agree that conditions in most Asian sweatshops are, well, ridiculously harsh. My point was just to clarify, once more, that even though Brazil belongs to the "BRIC" group of countries, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with them apart from a fast growing economy.

    Brazil is and will always be part of the WEST, and has labor requirements which are way higher than those of China. In fact, the US is much closer to China in terms of a virtual absence of job stability or severance rights for private sector employees.

    I also don't think Apple's secrecy requirements have anything to do with disgruntled employees at its contractors' premises. If this were the case, we would be having suicides all over the world in industries such as banking, defense or other technology companies.

    Fact is: Asian companies pay too little and demand too much from people who are NOT used to protesting, complaining about working conditions or fighting for their rights. This passivity is just not in the DNA of Brazilians, I can assure you.

    Well, your kind of criticism is exactly why Brazil is not yet in the group of highly-industrialized countries - the famous "mongrel dog" complex runs high among Brazilians who are only used to criticizing, criticizing and saying NOTHING positive about the country.

    I am fully aware of my country's social issues and I know that not everyone down there is rich or living off the fat of the land. But you cannot ignore that, EVEN in terms of inequality (where we used to share the sad title of world champions with South Africa), Brazil has done a FABULOUS job in raising millions out of poverty and improving its Gini coefficient ALMOST to the same level of the US, which, ironically, still is the richest country in the world.

    Your comment also seems to imply that Foxconn workers in Brazil will live as the slave-like employees of China, as if we had no labor regulation oversight whatsoever for such a high-profile project. NO. They will be formal workers receiving an average remuneration which will, FOR SURE, be more than triple that of average Chinese sweatshop people (currently USD 300 per month).

    I am also aware of the bad two-tiered pension system in Brazil, since my parents, for a long time small business owners, receive very little money for what they've contributed over many years. But how is this different from public employees around the world, including the US and Europe? We all know reforms are necessary to ensure a sustainable pension deficit reduction; but we also should know that these changes take time to implement, and require absolute respect to acquired rights.

    And I know how much imported devices cost in Brazil. But if you think that mere liberalization solves all problems in a huge country with diverse lobbies and interests concerning employment and industrial development, you should perhaps look at other examples around the world (including Switzerland) where protectionism is becoming the rule, not the exception.

    Even the recent IPI tax raise enacted by the government for imported cars proved that companies DO HAVE an interest in tapping Brazil's huge domestic market, as at least three of them already announced plans to install local factories. Your so-called "protectionism" also allowed companies like Embraer to start and thrive just as high-tech memory chip companies started with government help in South Korea back in the 70s/80s.

    So when you say that Foxconn wants a factory because of Brazil's domestic demand, how can you think this is a negative thing? We are, perhaps together with the US and China, the only country in the world that can live by itself and its own demand.

    Imports are cheaper in other places? Sure, and why? Because most such places don't even have a competing industry to begin with. On the other hand, try buying Brazilian beef (the world's best) in Switzerland; you won't find any, because the government imposes a 100 to 1000% tariff plus technical barriers just to protect their local cows and their beef any better? Of course not, but we have to live with it.

    So don't presume Brazil is the only place in the world with problems...not to mention that homicide rates in big US cities like D.C., Detroit, New Orleans and Baltimore are higher than our "super-violent" São Paulo... :rolleyes: Be patient because things ARE much better than before in objective terms - the only ones not seeing that are Brazilians themselves.
  11. cara0910 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    Thanks for your response. First off, I did not imply that these would be slave workers, and with Foxconn's status as such a highly publicized factory, I'm sure all the workers will be legally paid and get all of their workers benefits. I simply said that the fact that CEOs in Brazil earn more than execs in the U.S. is completely irrelevant information.

    Speaking of irrelevant information, you read way more into the OP's comment than most people would have. Factory workers the world over have difficult lives, and I share the OP's hope that happy workers will be making these devices.

    Now, on to your other comments. First off, the U.S. has its problems. I know that. I was born there. There are cities in the U.S. that are relatively dangerous, but you are cherry-picking when you pick out São Paulo and compare it to the very worst in the U.S. Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and more are by most measures less safe than most or every American city. Things have certainly improved, but they're still less safe.

    Next, about protectionism. Just because other countries do it, doesn't mean you should be for it. I'm against the ridiculous U.S. farm subsidies, just as much as I'm against high tariffs on most imports in Brazil. Brazil should invest more in education and try to compete with foreign companies rather than shutting them out or forcing them to move to Brazil. Even if they do move to Brazil, those companies will face more corruption and barriers to entry. Starting a business in the U.S., for example, is MUCH faster and easier than starting one here. And we can admit that much of that money for starting a business and paying high taxes on it goes to fill corrupt government workers' pockets.

    Speaking of that two-tiered system, Brazil's best and brightest young people spend years trying to pass a test to get a government job that - if they get it - they will likely never lose because of the insane labor law here. In fact, they should be building new businesses and creating new jobs. Instead of worrying so much about competition, out-compete them with new, innovative businesses led by the many smart people here.

    This concurso system and the labor law obstruct new entrants and the latter doesn't allow a company any flexibility. My girlfriend worked for the government ILLEGALLY before getting a concurso job. That's right. The government refused to sign her work card. Can you even imagine such a ridiculous situation? Can anyone imagine working for the government illegally because the government refused to formally make a contract with you?

    These are all problems, but I actually agree with you that things are getting better and people should see Brazil as an ally and a country that is quickly moving up. We'll see if Brazil's protectionism creates more jobs and improves the workforce, but in my opinion, it would be better for Brazil to invest heavily in education and start opening up its job market to foreigners and others who can facilitate an exchange of information and expertise just as much as any factory can.

    Brazilians criticize their government, but it's certainly part of the West. And Brazil is a stunningly beautiful place. I didn't mean to be overly negative ;)
  12. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Thanks for your response as well; I am actually in the opposite situation - I am a natural born Brazilian currently living in Europe and married to an American. :D

    I hope you understand my reaction, since it is definitely unfortunate that so many ordinary Brazilians refuse to see the advancements from the last 20 years, either because they have been taught to only praise what comes from abroad, or because of political bias against one party or another.

    All countries have problems, and Brazil's issues with bad infrastructure, less-than-ideal educational levels, political corruption and urban safety are point was simply to make clear that improvements are definitely there, and that most of the problems publicized by educated middle-class Brazilians are actually much more relevant in gigantic urban sprawls such as Rio or SP, where stress levels are consistently high (well, traffic jams, safety concerns and bad public services are also commonplace in DC or NY).

    My parents, for instance, have NO private health plan but are so far very satisfied with the free public system. They also live in a rural area not so far from SP but with extremely low crime levels, and where broadband is already available (something that is not possible in many rural areas of the US). My 64-year old mother is even finishing a degree in Pedagogy, given the increasing availability of academic programs all over the country.

    But I will definitely concur with you that Brazil needs, urgently, to continually invest vast amounts of money in infrastructure (logistics), education (especially primary education) and reduce public expenditures (which then leads to lower interest rates and, hopefully, taxes). In my opinion this is already happening to some extent, but much still needs to be done.

    After all, as Madeleine Albright today said at a conference in Brazil, the country is no longer "emerging" - it has emerged already.

  13. cara0910 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2011
    I agree with most of what you said. And Brazil has certainly emerged. I have lived here for over 2 years and now I'm going to go back to the U.S. and try to make things work with my fiancee from there. It's very disappointing, but even with stellar grades from an American university, the private job market is just very weak here, and it frustrates me to see people get these concurso jobs when I'm very opposed to that system of doing things, despite good intentions (getting rid of corruption, making it meritocratic, etc.).

    At this point, after trying to start a business and running into the Brazilian bureaucracy with very little money to do the million things the government requires, paying people to do things that they just didn't do, and more frustrations, I'm going back to the U.S., where I already have some great leads on jobs that will pay very well.

    However, I still have my eye on coming back to Brazil sometime with my wife and working here. It may never happen, but I'll hope that it does. Brazil is much more to me than just a nice spot for a vacation :)
  14. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011

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