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Hon Hai to learn more about Sharp job cuts

TAIPEI--Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the principal shareholder in Japan's Sharp Corp., said Thursday that it will find out more about the Japanese electronics firm's plan to cut 5,000 jobs.

“Company Chairman Terry Gou and other business executives will seek an understanding of the actual situation with Sharp's management and discuss response measures,” Hon Hai spokesman Simon Hsing said.

“We will not comment on any of Sharp's review plans until we come up with substantial results through negotiations,” he said.

Sharp, the maker of Aquos TVs, said Thursday that it plans to cut 5,000 jobs, or 8.8 percent of its 57,000 employees globally, by March 2013, after it posted net loss of 138.4 billion Japanese yen (US$1.76 billion) for the April-to-June quarter.

The Osaka-based company reported in April its biggest-ever net loss of 376.08 billion yen for the fiscal year that ended March, as it struggled to turn around its TV business.

Sharp's planned job cuts came after similar moves from two other Japanese electronics giants, Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., which also suffered hefty losses in the last fiscal year.

Media reports quoted an anonymous source as saying that Sharp's job cuts will include early retirement and workforce reductions in its underused Sakai LCD factory in western Japan, whose ownership had been hived off to Hon Hai.

Hon Hai, the main manufacturer of Apple Inc. products, announced in late March its acquisition of a roughly 10-percent stake in Sharp for US$800 million, making it the Japanese company's largest shareholder.

Under the deal, Gou also agreed to acquire a 46.5 percent stake in a 10th generation LCD plant in Sakai, the most advanced display factory in Japan, for an additional US$800 million.

The acquisition is expected to allow Hon Hai to not only own half of the Sharp plant's production but also participate in the Japanese company's future technology development.

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