Apple's iPhone suppliers are cutting thousands of seasonal jobs months earlier than normal as the industry suffers a severe downturn.
Around 50,000 contract workers have been let go since October at Foxconn Technology Group's most important iPhone factory at Zhengzhou, in China's Henan Province, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Normally, the contracts of these workers would be renewed every month from August until mid- to late January, when the workforce is traditionally scaled back for the slow iPhone production season.
The cuts come significantly earlier than previous years.
Apple this month shocked the market by warning of a slump in revenues at the end of 2018. This year is also shaping up to be difficult, with further declines expected in the smartphone market, while the ongoing U.S.-China trade war is taking a heavy toll.
Pegatron, Apple's second-biggest iPhone assembler, began canceling monthly labor contracts in November.
Foxconn -- formally Hon Hai Precision Industry -- is hoping to reduce expenses with an organizational restructuring. It has recently merged business units making Apple's MacBooks and iPads with another division making laptops and desktops for Dell and Acer.
The result of the consolidation will be steep cuts to management jobs and back office support staff such as human resources, administration, accounting and finance, and utility support jobs.
Foxconn counts Apple as its top customer but the company also supplies to HP, Dell, Amazon.com, Huawei Technologies, Xiaomi, and many other global tech brands.
Foxconn did not respond to an inquiry to provide a comment.