If there were cuts, but the total number of workers in China remained stable, we can infer that the cuts were made outside of China.


Flextronics boosts hiring in China as electronics demand rises

Flextronics International, a manufacturer of electronics for other companies, will increase hiring in its factories in China by about 10% next year to cope with rising customer orders, an executive said.

The contract manufacturer plans to hire 40,000 people in its China plants in 2010, Grace Wong, vice-president of human resources for Asia, said by phone today. At least 35,000 workers were recruited in the country this year, she said.

Flextronics, a supplier to customers including Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., is “cautiously optimistic” about its operations, Wong said. The Singapore-based company has sites in 30 countries and employs the most people in China, she said.

“We are very diversified, so we service the power industry, the medical and consumer products,” Wong said. “We are seeing growth in some of these areas.”

Flextronics’s headcount in China has stayed at about 90,000 over the last 12 months even after the hirings this year, Wong said, citing “a restructuring” at the company, without elaborating.

“For the number we lost, we hired back just as many,” Wong said. “I’d say we have maintained at 90,000 throughout.”

In March, Flextronics said it would cut jobs and close plants to save as much as US$260 million (4360 million) a year, without saying how many positions would be eliminated.

Flextronics employs 200,000 workers globally, the company said last month.

The shares fell 1% to close at US$7.07 in trading on Nasdaq Stock Market yesterday. Flextronics has gained 176% this year, outperforming the 146% advance in shares of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world’s biggest contract electronics maker.