These sensors are used by Apple’s iPhone X, which was launched in 2017.
In a development that underscores the growing debate in Japan as to whether foreign workers should be allowed in the country midst a labour shortage,Japan’s Sharp Corp has laid off around 3,000 foreign workers, said a labor union, as the electronic giant is moving some of the production of a few sensors for Apple’s iPhones to a plant owned by its parent Foxconn, in China.
As per the labor union, some of the workers who have been laid off, are its members. The union is in Mie Prefecture in central Japan, where Sharp’s plant is located.
With the Nikkei business daily reporting the lay-off, Sharp’s shares were seen trading lower by 5.% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange against a broader decline of 2.4%.
The development highlights how such employment is often at the mercy of manufacturers’ production cycles.
Sharp’s spokesman stated, it was not in a position to comment on issues concerning its subcontractors.
However, according to sources familiar with the matter at hand, the issue came about since Foxconn relocated the production of sensors used in the facial recognition feature introduced by Apple Inc in its iPhone X in 2017.
Sources preferred the cover of anonymity since the decision to relocate is private. They did not provide a reason why Taiwan’s Foxconn decided to move the production from its plant in Japan to the one located in China.
In a statement, Foxconn stated it follows a strict policy of not commenting on any matters related to current or potential customers, or any of their products.
In October, Sharp lifted its full-year profit outlook as a part of a turnaround under the ownership of Foxconn.