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Apple supplier Foxconn to hire 15,000 more workers

The Taiwan-based company wants to bring in more engineers and other professionals. The move isn't to help Apple but rather to help itself.

Construction near Foxconn's factory in Zhengzhou, China. Jay Greene/CNET

Foxconn wants to expand further beyond its roots as a parts supplier, and it's looking to hire enough people to push that effort.

The Taiwan-based company also known as Hon Hai announced this past weekend that it plans to hire 15,000 employees in its native country, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The hiring spree will attempt to pick up engineers and other qualified talent to work in such areas as telecommunications, e-commerce, biotechnology, automation, software, and hardware development.

Foxconn currently employs around 46,000 workers in Taiwan and more than 1 million in China.

In the past, Foxconn earned much of its business as a supplier for Apple and other mobile players. But the company has been trying to move beyond that somewhat limited role. In the last year alone, Foxconn unveiled deals to create Firefox phones and tablets for Mozilla, develop and make smartphones for Blackberry, and build a plant in the US to create robotic equipment.

Foxconn has been criticized for its treatment of workers and its factory conditions. But the company is trying to lure new employees by promising healthcare benefits, festival gifts, and a possible job in the US, Indonesia, Japan, or China, the Journal added.