Chinese Officials Investigating Accusations of Toxic Metal Dumping by Two Apple Suppliers

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Chinese government officials are investigating Apple suppliers and electronics manufacturers UniMicron and Foxconn after local environmental groups accused both of dumping large amounts of toxic heavy metals into nearby rivers. The area in question is an industrial district 40 miles west of Shanghai that has been a longtime area of electronics development, but has also recently been suspected of letting harmful pollutants into China's environment.

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    An Apple spokeswoman replied to the accusations, saying that the company has been working in cooperation with suppliers and environmental groups to meet the standards established by the company. Apple has published Supplier Responsibility Progress Reports every year since 2007 to track the ethical progress of its suppliers in order to bring transparency to its manufacturing process. The company also recently established an academic advisory board for its Supplier Responsibility program to ensure "safe and ethical working conditions wherever its products are made."

    Last month, a Chinese worker's rights group brought forth allegations of poor working conditions at Pegatron, another primary Apple supplier and electronics manufacturing company. The labor group accused Pegatron of making numerous safety and workplace violations, including the unethical holding of worker pay and poor living conditions within the factory. Pegatron currently employs 70,000 workers and produces one-third of the world's iPhones and iPads.

    Article Link: Chinese Officials Investigating Accusations of Toxic Metal Dumping by Two Apple Suppliers
     
  2. togg, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013

    macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Dumping large amounts of toxic heavy metals into nearby rivers? Usual **** for corporation like Apple, they are rotten inside because capitalism is.

    Reports made by the same corporation are just ******** over ********. How can you expect that they hurt their own profits?
     
  3. sesnir, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013

    macrumors 6502

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    #3
    First of all, this isn't Apple dumping stuff. Second, Apple is not their only client!

    Foxconn makes Microsoft and Nintendo consoles, for example.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #4
    This is the usual excuse. Why do you think that they use this kind of production chain? To take less and less responsibility and use independent (lol) reports to fool people.

    Are you sure you've read my post? Do you think I was talking only about Apple? Of course no. Capitalism is the problem, and corporations are one of the main incarnations of capitalism.

    It's not just Apple. It's Apple AND Microsoft AND Nintendo AND all the other disgusting people that control corporations who exploit human life and the planet to make more profits.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    flottenheimer

    Joined:
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    Up north
    #5
    Indeed not. Quoting the Wikipedia profile "Foxconn has factories in Asia, Europe, and South America that together assemble around 40 percent of all consumer electronics products sold." and the number of Foxconn employees is
    1.23 million.

    40% of all electronics products worldwide. Wow.
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2012
    #6
    Well I was wondering who drank all the bull semen
    .. Chill man geez
     
  7. macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #7
    I'm calm. I just think that a different world is possible. Don't you?

    ----------

    A huge problem indeed.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Besides frothing at the mouth, what is your solution?
     
  9. macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Been saying for years that dodging taxes and environmental regulation is the main reason for off-shore production, not the labor rate.

    And the biggest problems are not from the large well-known companies, but from the suppliers up and down the production chain, from mining to making little parts.

    I don't think it can be shown that "socialized" industries have a better environmental record than their capitalist counterparts.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #10
    Wait a moment, you call criticism "frothing at the mouth"?
    And what exactly are you expecting from someone who critics? To wrote a total social/economical system here within a post on a forum?
    Your post sounds like a radical boycott of critical thinking. Something like "write here and now a complete solution about everything or ****!".

    If you're really interested about the world in which you live you can start from an article like that (corporations X that destroy environment and human lives to make more profits) than expand your knowledge than fight for a different world.

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    Probably not the main, but it's also present. We have to think about the whole picture, and exploitment of workers is surely part of it.
    But I see what you mean.

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    But the large companies knows really well what is happening up and down the production chain, they need things to goes this way to keep up profits.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 22, 2012
    #11
    You mean large manufacturers that own factories such as FoxConn, Samsung, etc.

    Apple don't own a factory.
     
  12. togg, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013

    macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #12
    I think you can't neither prove otherwise.
    But maybe I can agree with you, it's not only a problem about how many hands will touch the money produced in the capitalist process. It's about the whole process.

    taking parts of desires from human life ---> convert it to commodity (material or immaterial, cognitive-cultural capitalism) ----> make people work most of their lives to create the last samsung cellphone/product X ----> destroy environment in the same time ----> create an enormous amount of money and goods (which bring to the -potential- overproduction crisis etc) ----> distribute this to a small amount of people (USA's capitalism) or to the state (Stalin's Russia capitalism) or to the whole society (socialism? Tricky point).

    ----------

    I have already answered to this. Please don't try this again.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    bedifferent

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    NY
    #13
    This makes me ill. As a tech community, we need to take more responsibility in supporting companies such as Foxconn that seem to care more about the bottom line and less about people and the environment. Dismissing this as "just business" doesn't cut if any more. At some point, all the crap we only hear about will be landing on our shores and our backyards. We are so addicted to the latest and greatest that we aren't focusing on the consequences of our actions. It's time tech takes a step further, pushing more solutions to the waste it produces. The rumored plastic iPhone makes me sick. I'll stick with my perfectly functioning device with a wood case. I don't need the newer shiny device.
     
  14. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

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    #14
    What a stupid comment. Apple didn't dump anything. Two companies with many different customers, of which one is Apple, are _accused_ of doing this. In other news, two HP suppliers, two Dell suppliers, two Microsoft suppliers, and so on, were accused of the exact same matter.

    And dumping toxic heavy metals isn't profitable. Quite the opposite. And in China, the perpetrators might end up with a massive dose of acute lead poisoning.


    Please explain to me how it helps Apple's profits if one of their suppliers damages the environment. Do you think Foxconn says to Apple "we just saved $10,000 by dumping this toxic stuff into a river instead of handling it correctly, here's half of it"?
     
  15. macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Yes I would call a post with multiple expletives that required editing by a moderator frothing at the mouth.
     
  16. togg, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013

    macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2012
    #16
    Oh cmon. You know really well how this works. Don't be so naive. Apple/ANY CORPORATIONS (this is not only about Apple, don't act like if I say so) want to have the job done with the lowest possible expense. Foxconn/ANY OTHER CAPITALIST INTERMEDIARY will make it possible by exploiting both humans and natural world.

    Now you get it?
     
  17. macrumors member

    MR.Raul

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    Sweden
    #17
    Apple didn't do it, Apple is a customer, so what you are saying is that every customer of Apple that buy an iPhone or so are just as guilty.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #18
    This is even crazier. So Apple is just a customer? Poor them :rolleyes: Who are you trying to fool? Apple has an immense power, and they use it to have the lowest price on what they pay. The lowest is the price that they pay, the higher is the exploitation that they require.

    Don't try to mix this with the responsibility of customers that is an entirely different issue. Commodity fetishism is a real problem, if you want to talk about it start with Apple that banned Phone Story ( http://www.phonestory.org ).

    But hey! Corporations are soo good inside. <3
     
  19. macrumors 603

    bedifferent

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NY
    #19
    People vote with their dollars, that's how capitalism works.

    We know what's been happening over seas as we're tech savvy and MacRumors has covered these matters many times. Certainly other companies use the same manufacturers, however it doesn't excuse Apple or any other company for not taking a genuine stance. Cook appearing at Foxconn and meeting the workers for photo op's and P.R. is hardly a genuine act towards bettering these matters. If you know that your money is going to support a company which utilizes a great deal of manufacturing from another company with well documented employee and environmental abuse, then indirectly you are supporting that system whether you agree or not.

    The tired excuses wear thin after a few years. Since other companies use the same manufacturers with questionable working conditions and toxic waste means it's ok. Heck, if Foxconn can bend the law, why can't we? "We're not Foxconn, so you can't blame us." BS. Electronics companies are not ignorant and blind to what is happening, they feign shock and make a few announcements and perhaps a photo op, but you'd be kidding yourself.

    People leave their families to work ungodly hours and live in cubicles next to their factories so we can boast, complain, moan and fight over electronic devices that [frankly] we don't really need. There was a time long, long ago when human beings would actually meet face to face instead of texting and emailing. Wow!
     
  20. macrumors member

    MR.Raul

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    Location:
    Sweden
    #20
    Just put all the problems on Apples shoulders, just cause they got the cash and influence.
    Don't go to the root of the problem, the actually company that are the ones that are responsible here.
    Why not have Apple fix all the worlds problem while we're at it, even if it's not their fault, cause there's always a way to twist it so they are the guilty ones here, it's not like they are a business out to make money, cause what company are.
    Can I please pay more in tax for the pollution I do when driving my car, even though I don't have to by law, cause I can afford it, so I should.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #21
    An Apple product is the result of hundreds of Chinese industries. Thousands probably. Apple cannot, and would not be allowed to, investigate and punish the entire Chinese industrial system.

    The Chinese are going to have to deal with this just as we and other responsible nations have written and mostly enforced environmental laws. You can bet that there will be great opposition to that, just as there always is here, because it will "hurt business".
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    macs4nw

    #22
    If these allegations are true, that is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. What irks me is that there is again that innocuous little link to APPLE, insinuating that this is an APPLE problem, to be solved somehow by APPLE, while leaving out all of the many other FOXCONN customers.

    Certainly APPLE can and should use their influence as one of FOXCONN's largest customers, to persuade the latter to remedy this dangerous and illegal dumping, but ultimately, it remains the responsibility of FOXCONN and the Chinese authorities to stop these crimes against the environment.
     
  23. macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    #23
    This is the same faulty liberal argument I have with my partner. "Apple are so rich so they should fix the ills of the world....."

    You can't create a fair and just world by unfairly apportioning blame.

    Apple make an obscene amount of money. They make this money because they get preferential prices from companies who want apples business. "I will offer you a long and prosperous business relationship if you give me some more competitive prices". There is nothing wrong with this. It's exactly what everyone would do.

    Where the system breaks down is that the supplier is making these preferential prices by cutting corners. That's the crux of the issue. Foxconn are breaking the rules. They are in fact breaking the law, and should be punished for it. Lax chinese laws and political corruption are the problem here, not the fact that apple uses them as a supplier.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #24
    It's not limited to any one tech company. In terms of savings, it comes in the form of providing lower bids that do not account for the cost of handling things properly, or just poor management of funds. Either way our tech companies are likely to keep themselves well separated from any of this.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #25
    Give me a solution. Point me to a company that produces a product that is as well built and as well functioning as an iPhone/MacBook Air/Mac Mini that doesn't create waste. Two days ago you were saying you wanted Apple to maintain their aluminum phone as opposed to plastic because of the plastic ocean pile. Now you want them not to use metal either. What is the solution? I don't know the answers and I'm certainly not going to criticize anyone that owns an electronic device. I think the blame is on the government that allows this to happen. Other countries need stricter regulations. Then there will be no benefit to having products made abroad.
     

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