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Reuters today reports on the secrecy demanded by Apple of its Asian manufacturing partners, profiling a sprawling Foxconn facility in Longhua, China complete where employees live and work while producing many of Apple's devices.
Inside the walled city -- one of several compounds run by Foxconn International, a major supplier for Apple Inc -- employees are provided with most of their daily needs. There are dormitories, canteens, recreation facilities, even banks, post offices and bakeries.

The rank-and-file within the compound have little reason to venture outside. That reduces the likelihood of leaks, which in turn lessens the risk of incurring the wrath of Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs, whose product launches have turned into long-running, tightly controlled media spectacles.
According to the report, workers are subject to metal detectors and searches when leaving the compound, while security personnel aggressively protect the security of the facility. One Reuters reporter was reportedly physically assaulted by Foxconn security personnel while taking photos of the compound from a public road, and only the intervention of police summoned by the reporter was able to resolve the situation.
"You're free to do what you want," the policeman explained, "But this is Foxconn and they have a special status here. Please understand."
Apple's manufacturing partners are also subject to confidentiality agreements as is standard in the industry, while Apple also performs unannounced security checks at manufacturing facilities to test security. According to sources, several partners have been warned about the possibility of losing their contracts if suspected leaks continued, although none appear to have actually had their contracts terminated.

Another security measure employed by Apple is the use of custom parts with tight lead times for parts manufacturers, limiting the amount of time such companies are aware of Apple's plans. Apple also reportedly sources components from many different manufacturers, leaving each one with only very limited knowledge of Apple's forthcoming devices until manufacturing begins just weeks before product launch. Finally, the report notes that Apple has been known to test potential manufacturing partners by contracting with them for production of different parts and watching for any leaks from those sources.

Apple's obsession with secrecy has been profiled in the past, with workers on its main headquarters campus in Cupertino faced with numerous security access points and special protocols to severely limit the number of people with knowledge of products under development. According to the earlier report, Apple has also been known to seed its own employees with incorrect information in attempts to discover the sources of product information leaks in its bid for the strictest security possible.

Article Link: Report Profiles Secrecy at Apple's Asian Manufacturing Partners' Facilities
 

MatLu

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2009
61
0
Is Foxconn the same company that had an employee 'suicide' after a security personal 'interrogated' an employee by putting him into solidarity confinement for losing a prototype iPhone?

(Rhetorical question. Yes, Foxconn is that same company.)
 
Comment

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,600
5,564
Canada
Sounds like a very very crappy life!

" China complete where employees live and work while producing many of Apple's devices.
Inside the walled city -- one of several compounds run by Foxconn International, a major supplier for Apple Inc -- employees are provided with most of their daily needs. There are dormitories, canteens, recreation facilities, even banks, post offices and bakeries.

The rank-and-file within the compound have little reason to venture outside. That reduces the likelihood of leaks, which in turn lessens the risk of incurring the wrath of Apple and its chief executive, Steve Jobs, whose product launches have turned into long-running, tightly controlled media spectacles."
 
Comment

markcres

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2006
306
223
UK
Yet another huge paranoid corporation ready to treat it's workers like date-stamped meat - protected by Police who value their job and wallet more than the law and people's basic rights.

All this loss of values and human dignity just to manufacture a home computer and a telephone !!!
 
Comment

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Sounds a little over dramatized to me. This is not much different than even places here in the US where product security is an issue. Not saying that we have compounds... and even this article does not say they can't leave... it's just they've created an environment where they can stay put if they like.

Personally, I don't blame Apple (or any company) for being protective of their IP... it's a fast moving world these days and there are lines of competitors that would love to learn more about what's next at Apple.
 
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scottness

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2009
1,368
3
Room 101
Sounds a little over dramatized to me. This is not much different than even places here in the US where product security is an issue. Not saying that we have compounds... and even this article does not say they can't leave... it's just they've created an environment where they can stay put if they like.

Personally, I don't blame Apple (or any company) for being protective of their IP... it's a fast moving world these days and there are lines of competitors that would love to learn more about what's next at Apple.

I tend to agree. I doubt these employees are forced to take the job or prohibited from quitting.
 
Comment

AbblePC

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2009
176
66
It's all just smart business practice to me, I'm sure the employees inside the "compound" are well aware of the contract agreements before assuming employment with Apple.

If they breach any of those contracts or NDA's, there are typically consequences like job termination time off without pay etc.

Many times I enter a contract site and are asked to leave all cell phones camera etc at the front gate or security desk.
 
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marksman

macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
5,764
5
We are going to be at such a commercial disadvantage against some of these countries when we can't house our workers in prisons and beat down spies.

Damn we are doomed in the US.
 
Comment

Virtualball

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2006
399
8
I'm usually down for Apple loving, but this is just scary. They've created a real Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, except less wondrous. It's disgusting. Talk about slave labor, Apple even owns the stables.
 
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Henri Gaudier

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2005
526
0
France
:apple: didn't behave like this when they were making things in the West. Amazing how these companies acclimatise to their surroundings. I wonder what Foxconn's environmental behaviour is like if they have such scant regard for humanity?
 
Comment

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
To be fair, the workers aren't slaves. They're employees, and they make a good wage for China. They are free to leave, it's not a prison. ...but it's still really, REALLY creepy, and borders on human rights abuse IMHO. I'm tempted to boycott, actually.
 
Comment

rlandrigan

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2002
15
0
Yall realize that this isn't Apple, this is the way theses factories operate? Apple certainly bears a lot of responsibility for moving the manufacture away from Ireland, US, etc, but the chinese factories - many owned by former or current generals in the PLA - work like this for many industries.


But how many of you would pay $3000 for the MacBook to be US- built?
 
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stridemat

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
11,292
759
UK
If this is true then this is very disturbing. I have never really thought about it before, but from Apple's perspective it does make sense. The article almost makes the workers out as 'slaves' all be it they receive wages.
 
Comment

lethalOne

macrumors member
Feb 14, 2008
70
0
Toronto ON
I'm usually down for Apple loving, but this is just scary. They've created a real Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, except less wondrous. It's disgusting. Talk about slave labor, Apple even owns the stables.

Sadly, while everyone blames Apple it is really FoxConn who is running their operations that way. It's very common in India and China.

I know programmers who were locked in a facility for the duration of a project. That's the way they work. None of the guys ever said they hated it nor did they quit because every other similar job had a similar locked down compound.
 
Comment

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
If this is all true, Steve Jobs had some real audacity to say "Google's 'Don't Be Evil' Mantra is 'bull****,'".
The more I think about it, the more I am disturbed.
 
Comment

TheCheapGeek

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
470
3
Whats wrong with this picture, the employees are given everything they need and a job, all they have to do is not leak products. Thats pretty much standard in any industry if I leaked company secrets where I work I would expect serious consequences.
 
Comment

rlandrigan

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2002
15
0
If this is all true, Steve Jobs had some real audacity to say "Google's 'Don't Be Evil' Mantra is 'bull****,'".
The more I think about it, the more I am disturbed.


The difference here is, Apple's never said they're not evil:)
Again, tho, every computer made, except for the dells assembled in Nashville and Austin, perhaps, are made under these conditions. And seeing how the Dell plant runs, it's harsh as ...dell... in there, with no benefits, as the workers are majority part-time in 'Right-to-work' states.
 
Comment

Wordwise

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2008
13
0
Over dramatized

There are highschools in North America with metal detectors, airports, places of work. In my place of work, you need access cards to get from one floor to the next, to use the elevator, etc. It's to protect IP.

Ron
 
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