The Truth of the Apple iPad Behind Foxconn's Lies

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Socratic, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
  2. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
  3. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Talk to people hat have been there.
    My last company had factory alliances there. Americans coming back there told some horrific stories. Safety was a 6 letter word. Low pay, long hours and dormitory housing was the culture.
    Apple is not the only company benefiting from China and their labor ideology.
  4. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
  5. afireintonto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    That's really messed up.
    Apple needs to invest a few billion, and skip the middle man and have their own factories. We know that if apple was in charge of production, things would be a lot different.
  6. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    What many people don't realize is that the manufacturing places have licenses to various patents and things plus they have specialized expertise in what they are manufacturing. It's not as simple as Apple (or another company) building a factory. They have to build the knowledgebase, business relationships with other suppliers, and the like before they could even begin to be productive. Then Apple would turn into Samsung or LG.
  7. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Whilst the video is probably hyped up a bit and a little picky, I'm sure it's not a million miles away from the truth for many workers there.

    It's not all crisp white cloths in a sparkling well landscaped area like an Apple Campus.
    To be honest, it's the type of thing we'd rather not think about and just pretend it does not exist. We have people working in really poor conditions even in UK factories, esp when it comes to metal polishing ect, breathing in dust and fumes, and that's even with all the UK laws in place.
    I'd hate to think what the reality is for some of these people.

    The only way would be to get undercover people to go in and work there in different areas for a few weeks undercover.
    But then why would anyone do that? Again, because we want our nice things at nice prices, even I do, and I, like most other people would rather not think about it.
    In the same way we'd rather not think about the reality of how chickens are reared in mass quantities for cheap food.
    We know it happens, we just put it to the back of our mind.
    And as I say, I'm just as guilty as anyone else in this respect.
  8. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    Guys, relax. Anything reported via YouTube is probably legit.

    Like Rebecca Black.
  9. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    As opposed to the even lower pay and longer hours of backbreaking outdoor labor in the rural farming communities. There's an attractive alternative!

    Not to say factory work in China is a walk in the park, but a bit of perspective is in order. Consider one such article:

    If the conditions still bother you, vote with your wallet. Sell all your electronics unless you've verified they're not from Foxconn or any other similar factory in China. Might be tough; Foxconn itself is near or over 50% market share of electronics manufacturing. I'd venture to say just about any electronic device at least contains some parts made in similar environments. Apple's just the most visible target.
  10. Blacklabel34 macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2009
    Orange County
    Thats horrible. Hopefully clips like this can raise enough awareness to make a change. We can only hope.
  11. bubulindo macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2010
    Neither here, nor there...
    Some perspective is in order here...

    What's the conditions of the rest of the factories in China? Or worse, shipyards... better?

    The clip shows that Foxconn can have what it wants in terms of land... well, I guess that the real culprit is actually the Chinese Government and not Foxconn alone.
    If relocating people from a place to build a Foxconn factory there is bad, relocating an entire city so you can build a huge new airport terminal (Beijing terminal) for the Olympics is just as worse... yet, no one complained on youtube or magazines.

    When they said that the conditions were military-like and showed the people lined up in front of a supervisor, I remembered the warm-up drill inside a South Korean shipyard where thousands would line up to listen on the pep talk and perform the mandatory warm up exercises before work. No one forced any of them to be there. Yet they do.

    So, although I believe that conditions are brutal, and loss of life (no matter which) is a tragedy, movies like this that put a little spin on it and fail to compare the reality within one company to the rest of the companies in the same country regardless of industry is just worthless.
    To me it shows that people dislike Apple and use this to target Apple and Foxconn, instead of doing it to show that working conditions inside Chinese industries are inhumane and we all, not just the tech lovers, are guilty of it.

    Isn't there a word for people like that?
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Why is Apple being targeted? Foxconn produces for almost all computer vendors. I notice none of them are being mentioned.

    While I'm sympathetic to the Foxconn workers, this video is awful.
  13. Tobster3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2010
    South Korea
    Having spent time working in the Chinese Shipyards in Yantai, Dalian and Shenzhen I don't think the video will be that far from the truth related to the safety aspect.

    Slightly off topic and a minor note....

    Bubulindo, you mention above that the warm up exercises are mandatory but no one forced them to be there??

    Working in the South Korean shipyards for the last 10 years, I can tell you that the Pep talk is a JSA (Job Safety Analysis) which is mandatory to maintain good safety. (The South Koreans are well ahead of China on safety). The warm up exercises are optional but most will participate to stretch their muscles etc before starting work.
  14. Meanee macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2011
    Foxconn makes a ton of electronics, components, and other things. Not just for apple, but for a ton of other manufacturers. want to boycott Foxconn? That is very easy, get rid of your pc, LCD tv, game systems.

    And yes, apple could build a factory in USA, hire locally. But how much more would the price be? Enough for people to start buying 500 dollar Samsung Tab instead of $999 iPad? Apple is a company, whose main job is to keep money flowing and make shareholders happy. Spending a ton of money for USA factory, setting up new supply lines, shipping components to USA instead to much closer (to manufactures) China location, and for all that, show off a prohibitively expensive smartphone and tablet to shareholders? Not going to happen.
  15. Lloyd50 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
  16. bubulindo macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2010
    Neither here, nor there...
    And what or who can tell us what was the supervisor saying to those people in the video? I was merely remarking on how similar both situations are and how normal they can be.

    Not so sure about the optional part. Although it does depend from yard to yard, as an example, the warm up is part of the "JSA" in Samsung, whilst in Daewoo most of the times it resembles a platoon exercising. I do have a video of that in Daewoo back home and somewhere online you can actually find the exercise routine for dsme

    When I said that no one forced them to be there, I was mentioning both workers. No one forces them to be there.
    They can quit the job if they don't want to be subjected to those working conditions. The problem is that, although bad, working conditions in Foxconn may be the best they can find in China.

    So the video, shows part of the problem, but fails to show the real situation in China and how it's not just Apple's fault.

    While we're on the subject, why is it that these videos don't show how Nike and other sports and luxury items are made by Pakistani or Indian children?
  17. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    You mean it's not Friday today?

    Does Saturday follow Friday? Please enlighten me.
  18. sactownbwoy macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2008
    Thw exercise before work thing is fairly common in that part of the world. Living in Japan I would see the Japanese construction works doing it all the time. It isnt militaristic, it just makes sense to stretch before doing that type of work to cut down on injuries.
  19. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    You need to stretch before work to cut down on injuries when assembling iPads at a desk?
  20. bubulindo macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2010
    Neither here, nor there...
    You are assuming they were assemblers...
  21. Socratic, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2011

    Socratic thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2011
    Well, there are many films about this kind of thing. I posted this one because this is a mac fan site, and so everyone here more or less is using products produced by these very people, in the plant shown. Secondly, Apple is one of the richest firms in the world, and has a higher than average profit margin, so is one of the few firms capable of spending to increase quality of life and working conditions without that having to translate into higher prices. I'm by no means saying this is a problem unique to Apple. That doesn't mean they can't lead the industry in change, as they do in so many other areas.

    It's produced by an association of Hong Kong scholars and students. You Tube is just where I found the video...

    based on what?

    The difference is that sweatshops are under the direct control of western firms, they arise to meet a demand we create. The economics of rural farming is far less directly under our control...
  22. gnasher729, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Google for "Primark indian sweatshops". You will find article after article chastising Primark for exploiting children in sweatshops in India - until you find the headline "BBC crisis over 'fake' sweatshop scene in Primark documentary". Not a Youtube video, but an award-winning report by the BBC's "Panorama" programme was, after three years, not only found to be faked, but it was also shown that the BBC _knew_ it was faked.

    So it is easy to get all outraged, but just because you watch it on Youtube (or on the BBC) doesn't mean it's true.

    Now what does the video actually show: Tired people in a bus coming home from work. Looked very similar to tired people in London on the tube coming home from work. Building works in a huge factory. Pictures that you would have seen in the USA back in the days when they still built factories. An explosion at Foxconn. Well, there was one at Intel near Chandler, Arizona. And Arizona is not a province of China. Lots of people queuing up applying for work, with professionals cheering everyone up: Look at pictures of X Factor and see how similar it looks. Except one shows lots of people eager to find work, while the other shows deluded idiots taking time off work, if they have a job, to become famous. Menacing music, and the odd unproven accusation thrown in.
  23. FAsnakes macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    Just watched the vid - (on my shiny new iPad2)..
    I would happily pay more $$ if this factory was moved to the United States..

    Within their supplier agreement MSA, SOW ect. I agree, Apple should have conditions (which they most likely do) that mandiate resource conditions..

    Learn more here:

    This is not an Apple issue - this is a vendor issue. These emloyees don't work for Apple - rather apple contracted Foxconn..
  24. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    It's a good message...

    But not that convincing an argument. What labor laws are being violated? What lies are being told? Everything in the video is pretty out in the open. It's not a job that I'd want, and not a job that I'd like my child to have, but China's a developing economy and that's hardly the worst place there to work.

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