back to article Foxconn to investigate iPhone 5 factory woes

Foxconn, the Chinese contract manufacturer, has admitted it's "not perfect" and promised to investigate conditions at its Tai Yuan plant after an undercover exposé by an undercover reporter revealed filthy dorms and bullying by managers on the iPhone 5 production line. The report by a Shanghai Evening Post hack details (via …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foxconn have a plan......

    ....replace humans with robots, who can't complain!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Foxconn have a plan......

      No they do not.

      Robots - expensive. Humans - not so much. At least in places where there is no law or law can be bought.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Except for

      The dormitary it sound like the work you do in any other mass production factory around the world.

      Repetitive, boring, RSI inducing hard work.

      As a student I had a part time job making aircraft meals, injecting meat paste into pasty things,I found that hell yet there were those who had been there years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Except for

        I had a job working 12 hour shifts putting CDs into CD cases.

        We weren't allowed to talk while we worked. We had to punch out when we went to the toilet. If the line worked too slow everyone was docked pay. We got paid minimum wage.

        This job was in Sussex.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Except for

          .... oh, and you also got docked pay if you worked too quickly (as you'd be waiting a few minutes for more CDs to be put onto the conveyor belt).

  2. nuked
    Thumb Up


    Compared to conditions in this country a decade ago, this report sounds like a holiday camp.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the reporter complained of cockroach-ridden dorm rooms full of piled up rubbish and of being forced to sleep under dirty, ash-stained bedsheets."

    Who would complain about dorms full of free snacks?

  4. toadwarrior

    I saw not mnetion of children. I won't buy any phone that isn't made by abused children.

  5. Ross K Silver badge

    "We do this to ensure that we continue to attract the best workers in the industry"

    ...said the spokesman, with a straight face.

    I suppose the reason their business works is that China has a workforce of 800,000,000 to choose from, a huge amount of whom are uneducated. If they don't migrate to the city to make iPhones, they'd be earning a living on a rice paddy somewhere.

    I doubt they care if they've got the best or worst workers in the industry - they're all disposable in Foxconn's eyes.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm impressed...

    ...that it was a Chinese reporter that did the undercover work for a Chinese rag. I wonder what the comunist party will have to say about that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm impressed...

      maybe, good work? I've seen plenty of investigations in china, they only get twitchy if its high level political...

  7. Gordon Pryra

    Why all the QQ?

    Much like people cant complain about fags giving them cancer as we have known about the carcinogenicity of them for years. None of the readers can really claim to give a flying fuck about condition's in China when they all personally have the kit being produced by these factory's.

    1. Maliciously Crafted Packet

      My thoughts exactly

      All these bleeding heart Apple haters pretending to care about workers rights. Its just a big specious stick to beat Apple with.

      Bitching about Apple with regards to patents, product design and OS specs is fair enough. But using workers rights issues to get at them when you knowingly purchase kit -be it PC, games console or droidphone- that you know is made in the same factories or worse is unprincipled and hypocritical.

      If you really gave a fuck about human rights and workers conditions how about a small donation to War On Want or Human Rights Watch and the like.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My thoughts exactly

        "If you really gave a fuck about human rights and workers conditions how about a small donation to War On Want or Human Rights Watch and the like."

        Done that, thank you.

        Which non-Chinese mass produced items do you suggest I buy?

        There was a time when the likes of Aldi and Lidl could be relied upon to find their cheap stuff in Europe, but increasingly theirs is Chinese too. Even a set of Bosch-labelled Torx screwdriver bits I bought recently turned out to have been made in China.

        Suggestions welcome. I've tried stopping buying things, and in general it's an acceptable solution, but sometimes there is no alternative.

        1. Maliciously Crafted Packet

          Re: My thoughts exactly

          "Which non-Chinese mass produced items do you suggest I buy?"

          I know you can't by non-Chinese mass produced items, thats not what Im whining about. Were stuck with buying from China and perpetuating exploitative working conditions until we develop fully automated manufacturing.

          It's the singling out of Apple and wilfully ignoring the sins of other manufacturers who behave in the same way or worse that I find most annoying.

          Pot calling kettle black and all that.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "....marking five iPhone 5 back plates with a paint pen every minute ..."

    This sounds very slow to me.12 seconds to dab some paint onto a back plate? No wonder he was scolded.

  9. Tom 35

    Foxconn to investigate how Undercover hack got into iPhone 5 factory.

  10. Not Fred31
    Paris Hilton

    Most rights groups agree...

    Any source for that claim?

  11. JaitcH

    So much for Apple's promises to ...

    ensure humane working conditions.

    Too many complaints for there not to be a valid reason for them.

  12. adam payne

    All the more reason to boycott buying anything that Foxconn make and the companies that use them. If you don't like they way they treat their staff vote with your wallet.

    All I can say about the statement is spoken like a true marketing department.

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    You wanted

    cheap stuff

    Thats how its made

    If the bleeding hearts (and everyone else) would stump up another £20- £30 for their shiney new gadget, they could be made here.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds us of

    A sketch on "Drop the Dead Donkey" about Guillimots covered in oil

    if the workers are happy, let them do it, they can always leave and be replaced by another.

    Like in the UK, you have people that will want to do the work at the price and the professional naysayers and benefit scroungers

  15. Gordon Pryra

    @So much for Apple's promises to ...

    What do you mean "Apple"?

    Read the article, their factory's are amongst the BETTER ones (unlike the iShit)

    If you are not reading this on an Apple product then open up the case on the machine/phone you are, tell me what components are not made in China?

    @Which non-Chinese mass produced items do you suggest I buy?

    I wouldn't stop to think about it, production is already moving out of China to cheaper country's with lower worker costs, give it 20 years and it will be Irish factroris in the news.

    My point about the story is that its not a story, no-one has ever given a dam, and those that do tend to be saying so for affect. Companies will honour the laws in this country yet go to countries to get past those laws, we know this and we accept this. Our government taking prisoners into other countries for torture is the same (if more dramatic) thing.

    1. Ross K Silver badge

      Re: @So much for Apple's promises to ...

      "I wouldn't stop to think about it, production is already moving out of China to cheaper country's with lower worker costs, give it 20 years and it will be Irish factroris in the news."

      If you think labour costs are lower in Ireland than China you must be high.

      Put down your bong for a minute and I think you'll find computer companies did their manufacturing in Ireland and the UK 20 years ago...

      Seagate, Digital, Atari/Namco, HP, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Xerox, etc., etc. all moved on or gone bust.

      Strangely, Apple still has a factory in Ireland and was expanding last I heard.

      Anyway, there's no alternative to Chinese-manufactured laptops or phones, thanks to (a) the Apples and Dells of this world wanting rock-bottom prices from their suppliers, and (b) consumers wanting rock-bottom prices from the Apples and Dells of this world. Ok, well maybe not rock-bottom prices from Apple, but you know what I mean...

  16. Dave 15

    life is cheaper than robots

    Although not as accurate its cheaper to take a peasant and work them to death than buy a robot. Otherwise you can't explain the desire for western companies to abandon the largely automated largely robot and machine driven western factories and move to China. China never has cared for life, and nor do the bosses of the western companies who would rather save half a dinari while working out how to spend their multi-million pound bonuses.

  17. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    News: Slavery in China. Hold the front page.

    Why did they have to send in a spy to prove there is slavery in China?

    Anyone with two fully functional brain cells and ten minutes down time to rest them, could have realised it was bloody obvious that they couldn't turn out Fan Boy fodder like they have over the last two decades without riding herd on human souls like the sugar barons of England.

    Nor did anyone imagine their desk-tops got here by magic because of a mark down following a bankruptsy?

  18. Ascylto
    Big Brother


    So we get past the headline which gives the impression that it's the iPhone only and we read later... "The iPhone-maker, which also produces kit for Nokia, HP, Dell and other big tech names..."

    No wonder you don't get invited to Apple functions. You must list yourselves with the other Apple-haters who post here.

    The fact is that ALL the tech companies use crap-paid labour in China for cheapness because they want to get as much money as they can for shareholders, Apple included. But we (US and UK) all did the same not so long ago... it's how we built up our empires. The Chinese are only doing what we did and probably learned from us!

  19. John 62


    Chinese manufacturers are supposedly buying Japanese and German robots as fast as they can be produced.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep up the pressure!

    Public exposure of these sweatshops is the one means to make proper changes. Resuing to buy any products produced in Chinese sweatshops is even better.

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