Is the Foxconn Hiring Freeze Linked to Apple?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock reacted quickly, and negatively, in premarket trading to news reports that its main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, had frozen recruiting due to a slowdown in iPhone 5 production. However, according to Bloomberg, the pause may simply be related to adjustments around the Chinese New Year.

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Foxconn put a freeze on recruitment until the end of March after more employees returned from the Chinese New Year break than a year earlier, company spokesman Bruce Liu told Bloomberg. It was not related to iPhone 5 production, he said.

Earlier, The Financial Times cited another spokesman, Liu Kun, saying that the hiring halt came amid slowing production of the iPhone 5. “Currently, none of the plants in mainland China have hiring plans,” Liu said.

The report said the hiring freeze was the first such move since the 2009 financial crisis. The company had about 800,000 workers in China during the 2009 crisis, but that number went as high as 1.2 million last year ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5…

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