Wisconsin Foxconn plant reaches deal to assemble Google server components
A Foxconn manufacturing plant in Wisconsin touted by President Trump is reportedly planning to assemble server components for Google, giving use to space that sat idle for years.
According to anonymous sources who spoke to Bloomberg, production is expected to begin in the first few months of 2021.
Bloomberg’s unidentified sources said Foxconn won the contract with Google because it was the only company able to establish surface-mount technology lines in the U.S.
Ground was first broken for the Wisconsin facility in 2018. At the time, the plan was to set up an LCD manufacturing complex that would employ 13,000 people and create a new Silicon Valley of the Midwest. Trump held the facility up as a win for American jobs and the economy.
However, an investigative piece published by the Verge in October revealed bungled business plans and multiple moves made just to keep up appearances. The company reportedly failed to hire enough employees to qualify for state tax credits two years in a row and in one instance appeared to have hired hundreds of people before the end of year in order to meet requirements before beginning layoffs in January.
Local and state governments spent hundreds of millions of dollars creating infrastructure for the company’s facility that has yet to be utilized, according to the tech news outlet, which added that Taiwan-based Foxconn has promised facilities that never materialized or were less-than-promised in other countries as well.
Bloomberg reports that this year, space at the facility was used to produce face masks and ventilators.
In its exposé, The Verge noted that the plant’s Midwest location may not have been the most advantageous for LCD manufacturing, as the glass suppliers would have required further subsidies from the government to move to Wisconsin. But Bloomberg reports that the plant’s location would now be a boon to Google as it seeks out lucrative contracts in the server-dependent cloud business.
As Bloomberg reports, the new contract with Foxconn will help Google establish its presence in the Midwest, where Amazon and Microsoft currently dominate. An active American facility may also help Foxconn secure U.S. government contracts, notes the news outlet, as Washington heightens scrutiny over Chinese-based electronic supply chains.
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