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Report claims Chinese students 'forced' to intern at 'iPhone 5' factory

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
A new report out of the Far East alleges that "thousands of students" are being "forced" to build Apple's next iPhone ahead of the product's launch as part of an internship at Foxconn.

University students from Huai'an in Jiangsu Province were alleged to have been driven to a Foxconn factory after it couldn't find enough workers for production of the "iPhone 5," a report published Thursday by Shanghai Daily claims. It cites an anonymous online post from a computing student at the Hauiyin Institute of Technology that was corroborated by "several other students from at least five colleges."

The students indicated they are being "forced" to work 12 hours a day, six days a week, and receive $243.97 U.S. per month in return for their work. The students say the work is part of an internship that allows students to "experience working conditions and promote individual ability."

Local schools are alleged to have suspended routine classes at the beginning of the semester to allow students time away for the internships. One student said studies have been "seriously disrupted" by the internships at Foxconn.

The report also quoted an unnamed official who said it was "common practice" for local universities to send students to renowned companies and factories to expand their horizons. The students are "encouraged to go to factories to learn more about society," they said.

Foxconn
Foxconn workers as captured by Steve Jurvetson, via Wikipedia.


But a local lawyer, Wu Dong, believes the internships violate labor and education laws. He believes Foxconn and the schools could be sued over the situation.

Thursday's report is the latest in a long history of negative details from Apple's supply chain in the Far East. Foxconn, in particular, has been subject to scrutiny, prompting Apple to commission third-party audits of its facilities by the Fair Labor Association.

This week, it was suggested that Apple is likely privately subsidizing wage increases for workers at Foxconn. For years, critics have referred to Foxconn as a "sweatshop" where employees work long hours for little pay.
post #2 of 48

Of course they couldn't let the Samsung story stand without being topped. 

post #3 of 48

Sounds like purest BS to me.  The internship thingie is common and a good thing, but the 12 hour days and the wages are just "drama" methinks.  

post #4 of 48
Does this come from the same source that said Steve Jobs was trying to smuggle throwing stars onto a plane? lol
post #5 of 48

Believable?  If true, we will likely see the results with very poor quality of the iPhone 5. "Forced" labor does not result in quality product.

 

If it is true, I would expect Apple to intervene. Whatever you believe about Apple's view of labor conditions, you can be sure the bottom line of quality will drive them to ensure no "forced" labor.

post #6 of 48

A 'report". By whom?. Seems that these negarive 'reports' appear each time Apple stock hits a new high.

An attempt to discredit the company and drive prices down?

 

Posting such 'reports' on line doesn't make them true. 

 

Shame on you, Appleinsider

post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Of course they couldn't let the Samsung story stand without being topped. 

 

Indeed, the timing seems just too coincidental next to the Samsung abuse story. And like the stories before it, it's attempting to pin the actions of an independent company onto another it does business with, while the stories about a company's gross mistreatment of it's own employees in it's own factories is barely rippling the waves.

 

If it's true, terrible, but gotta say I'm sceptical.

post #8 of 48

Doesn't Foxconn normally have people queuing at the gates for a job assembling iPhones? I seem to remember seeing lots of stories about this around this time last year as they took on extra staff for the 4S launch so I hardly see why they would need to "force" interns into this work... 

post #9 of 48

....The students are "encouraged to go to factories to learn more about society"....

 

So, basically it's learning to be a slave. An iPhone 5 slave.

 

 

 

....allows students to "experience working conditions and promote individual ability."....

 

If the students have half a brain, they will experience those working conditions for a day, calculate their pay a second time, then use their individual ability to wake up and get the hell out of dodge.

 

post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

A 'report". By whom?.

By Samsung, duh!

post #11 of 48

Good.  I want to get my iPhone 5 in time.

post #12 of 48

Trust me. This is true. We have had numerous reports in the news here in Hong Kong about this situation in mainland China. Many of these students are from poor families in the countryside and they couldn’t afford to pay the tuition fees. so the schools sent them to factories to work for six months or so, the schools will get most of their wages as tuitions fees and then the students are given just a meagre fee for their daily living. Then the students will go back to schools to study for about 3-4 months, and then they have to go tot he factories again. I’m sure you can find numerous reports on the web (many in Chinese though) about this, as it’s not an uncommon practice in China.

post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

A 'report". By whom?. Seems that these negarive 'reports' appear each time Apple stock hits a new high.

An attempt to discredit the company and drive prices down?

 

Posting such 'reports' on line doesn't make them true. 

 

Shame on you, Appleinsider


I think the author of the report is named Sam Sung.

post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

A 'report". By whom?. Seems that these negarive 'reports' appear each time Apple stock hits a new high.
An attempt to discredit the company and drive prices down?

Posting such 'reports' on line doesn't make them true. 

Shame on you, Appleinsider
Fact checking requires work and a level responsibility not embodied by many bloggers.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post


Beats the hell out of student loans.. and if this is a common practice in China.. then why is it news?  Just because it isn't normal in the US?  Eating dog and donkey penis isn't normal in the US either.. but everytime that happens in China it doesn't make the 6 o'clock news.

I disagree. All my girlfriends have absolutely craved donkey penis.

Not bragging of course.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

.... If we want a made in america iPhone get ready for a $5000 price tag.  ....

Im sure you are being sarcastic... I hope.  Care to offer a realistic guess?

Lots of speculation and no one knows for sure, but I've seen some guesses of around 10-50 dollars per phone. For very high production numbers, I believe the lower number is more realistic. 

 

As for the disregard for other workers working conditions... What goes around, comes around

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post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

Personally.. I don't f*uking care about working conditions in China.  They are crazy over there.. and most of the country is in total poverty.  If we want a made in america iPhone get ready for a $5000 price tag.  I'm not quite sure why anyone cares what working conditions are like in another country.  It's not my problem what life is like for some Chinese guy working 12 hours a day.  I think we need to be more focused about what goes on in our backyard.. not 10,000 miles away (middle eastern war.. cough cough)...

 

Wow.  What a poor attitude you have.  

"I'm all right so who cares about anyone else?"

 

The reason people care "what working conditions are like in another country" is that the people in that other country are people just like you and your family.  They have families of their own.  You make it sound like they aren't even "people" simply by virtue of being in another country.  WTF?

 

Also, most people nowadays travel to "other countries," have relatives in these "other countries," or are from these "other countries" themselves.  You just sound like some angry white dude in a trailer in Arkansas.  

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


I disagree. All my girlfriends have absolutely craved donkey penis.
Not bragging of course.


that's why they're your exes. couldn't resist. :)

post #19 of 48

Wage quotes are pointless without also including standards of living data.  And,  as a father that has to beg to get the my university students to take out the trash, maybe not the worst thing.

post #20 of 48

The things is, we can shake our heads and gnash our teeth over working conditions, wages, benefits, and poverty in other countries. But in fact, there's very little individuals in one country can do for those in another country. But it makes some of the do-gooders get a warm and fuzzy to 'strike up the band' for their cause du jour. However, they are safe when it comes to actually being responsible for making change.

 

How about, instead, they take that well intentioned emotional response and begin to effect change right here in the United States? What a novel approach. But then again they might have to do some actual work, instead of providing lip service and spouting innane platitudes.

post #21 of 48

I guess China's running out of people eh?  *rolls eyes*

This article is pure BS.  When this is deemed a fabrication, I hope they rope the person spreading this nonsense to the wall and get what they deserved, right next to Mike Daisey.

post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


I disagree. All my girlfriends have absolutely craved donkey penis.
Not bragging of course.

 

Are you the Wu Dong mentioned in the article??

post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I guess China's running out of people eh?  *rolls eyes*


This article is pure BS.  When this is deemed a fabrication, I hope they rope the person spreading this nonsense to the wall and get what they deserved, right next to Mike Daisey.

Right? Foxxconn always has a line outside with hopefuls trying to get a job
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post #24 of 48

[QUOTE]

Trust me. This is true. We have had numerous reports in the news here in Hong Kong about this situation in mainland China. Many of these students are from poor families in the countryside and they couldn’t afford to pay the tuition fees. so the schools sent them to factories to work for six months or so, the schools will get most of their wages as tuitions fees and then the students are given just a meagre fee for their daily living. Then the students will go back to schools to study for about 3-4 months, and then they have to go tot he factories again. I’m sure you can find numerous reports on the web (many in Chinese though) about this, as it’s not an uncommon practice in China. [/QUOTE]

 

So, this is a trade agreement.  If you can't afford school, and cannot get the money to pay for tuition - you work some period of time to earn the money. 

 

Eventually, you graduate from college with a degree, and some practical work experience - and then you are set up for life.  This seems quite fair to me; as opposed to graduating with a degree and having neither practical experience, nor having worked an internship at any company and having a huge student loan to pay off.

post #25 of 48

i thought it was only american teenagers who complained about working.

post #26 of 48

Generally, ... yes.  It's not unusual for Foxconn to have 20,000+ people competing for 2,000 jobs.

post #27 of 48

wait they are getting paid for an internship, here in the US most interns never get paid, their pay is the reward of allowing to work for free for some company. Now a co-op is a different story, you are suppose to get a pay as part of work study. What are these students complaining about they are getting to do something that most people in the world could never experience they should be happy they were even selected for this internship.

post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVertigo View Post

Personally.. I don't f*uking care about working conditions in China.  They are crazy over there.. and most of the country is in total poverty.  If we want a made in america iPhone get ready for a $5000 price tag.  I'm not quite sure why anyone cares what working conditions are like in another country.  It's not my problem what life is like for some Chinese guy working 12 hours a day.  I think we need to be more focused about what goes on in our backyard.. not 10,000 miles away (middle eastern war.. cough cough)...


Could not agree more.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Im sure you are being sarcastic... I hope.  Care to offer a realistic guess?

Lots of speculation and no one knows for sure, but I've seen some guesses of around 10-50 dollars per phone. For very high production numbers, I believe the lower number is more realistic. 

It would have to be almost entirely automated. In China the iPhone is essentially made by hand. Culturally in China a many people are adept at manipulating small parts by hand. For example carpet knotting and harvesting of grains, very tedious jobs requiring attention to detail all done by hand for centuries. In the US workers are not experienced in building very small devices by hand and as Tim said they also need a lot of machinists as well which I believe are short supply here in the States.

 

Building an iPhone in a largely automated factory would not directly provide many jobs so the idea to bring iPhone manufacturing to the US does not really have a lot of advantages other than promoting the technology needed to build automated factories. But even that does not put the middle class back to work as those types of jobs are exclusively high end engineering positions which are already fully employed and seeking additional resources. Unfortunately the middle class in the US is essentially unemployable in the industry of consumer electronics manufacturing.

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post #30 of 48

Business as usual for the anti-Apple war machine. When the haters stop trying to spread vicious lies, I'll actually be worried.

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post #31 of 48

'anonymous online post'

 

Ok, next...

 
post #32 of 48
If this is true, I'm outraged at the universities!
If this is bs, I'm outraged at the press!

Either way, I'm outraged! Burn it all down!!! Let's put the system on trial!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #33 of 48

Was it really necessary to bring race and geographical region/state into your inapproproate comment, Gazoobee??


Edited by 80025 - 9/6/12 at 10:30am
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

Business as usual for the anti-Apple war machine. When the haters stop trying to spread vicious lies, I'll actually be worried.

The insinuation here is that it's our fault for lusting after gadgets with the gigahertzes and the 4Gs, and this keeps poor helpless Chinese students in bondage. At least, that's the worldview of activist and pork impersonator, Mike Daisey.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Wow.  What a poor attitude you have.  
"I'm all right so who cares about anyone else?"

The reason people care "what working conditions are like in another country" is that the people in that other country are people just like you and your family.  They have families of their own.  You make it sound like they aren't even "people" simply by virtue of being in another country.  WTF?

Also, most people nowadays travel to "other countries," have relatives in these "other countries," or are from these "other countries" themselves.  You just sound like some angry white dude in a trailer in Arkansas.  


Most people travel to other countries? No. I don't think so. I think most people stay right at home. Most people cannot afford to travel overseas nor do they even think about it very much. Bills, groceries, rent... I don't know, but the way I see most people, they struggle to make ends meet.

As for not caring about other countries working conditions, I pretty much agree. These problems are not ours. The whole idea of having foreign countries do our dirty work came from our great politicians who have put U.S. jobs overseas because their corporate masters want them to. People say the economy is in the tank and we need more jobs. Well we're are the politicians now?

I am not a conspiracy theorist type but there are so many more things at play here.

While I think it's fine to be concerned about these problems we need to take a look at ourselves and why things are the way they are
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

wait they are getting paid for an internship, here in the US most interns never get paid, their pay is the reward of allowing to work for free for some company. Now a co-op is a different story, you are suppose to get a pay as part of work study. What are these students complaining about they are getting to do something that most people in the world could never experience they should be happy they were even selected for this internship.

 

It seems that the issue is not that the wages are low or that the work is too hard, but that the internship is deceptive. If students were signing up for an internship with relevant work experience and then were shoved in a factory to do manual labor, this may violate labor and education laws (as the article states).

 

The same issue pops up in the US every few years that companies will hire interns promising they will get experience in their field (graphic design, business, etc...) but then make them do low-level manual labor instead (sweeping floors, making coffee). In the US, this is illegal, as an internship is supposed to have an educational component, not just be free/cheap labor. (see http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm). It sounds like there is a similar law in the PRC.

post #37 of 48

"YOU BILL PHONE!"

 

"YOU BILL PHONE NOW!!"

 

"YOU NO TALK!"

 

"YOU COLLEGE KID WITH YOU HIGH-MINDED IDEALS AND REBELLIOUS SENSE OF FREEDOM!  YOU SHUT UP!  YOU BILL PHONE!"

 

Sorry, this is what popped in to my head when I pictured college students trapped in an iPhone 5 factory in the "Far East"...

post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new report out of the Far East alleges that "thousands of students" are being "forced" to build Apple's next iPhone ahead of the product's launch as part of an internship at Foxconn.
The students indicated they are being "forced" to work 12 hours a day, six days a week, and receive $243.97 U.S. per month in return for their work. The students say the work is part of an internship that allows students to "experience working conditions and promote individual ability."

Local schools are alleged to have suspended routine classes at the beginning of the semester to allow students time away for the internships. One student said studies have been "seriously disrupted" by the internships at Foxconn.

The report also quoted an unnamed official who said it was "common practice" for local universities to send students to renowned companies and factories to expand their horizons. The students are "encouraged to go to factories to learn more about society," they said.

But a local lawyer, Wu Dong, believes the internships violate labor and education laws. He believes Foxconn and the schools could be sued over the situation.

Oh, I dunno...

I remember, when I was a kid,

"thousands of students" were being forced to intern in the United States Army, so...

s**t happens, I guess.

post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrodri View Post

 

It seems that the issue is not that the wages are low or that the work is too hard, but that the internship is deceptive. If students were signing up for an internship with relevant work experience and then were shoved in a factory to do manual labor, this may violate labor and education laws (as the article states).

 

The same issue pops up in the US every few years that companies will hire interns promising they will get experience in their field (graphic design, business, etc...) but then make them do low-level manual labor instead (sweeping floors, making coffee). In the US, this is illegal, as an internship is supposed to have an educational component, not just be free/cheap labor. (see http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm). It sounds like there is a similar law in the PRC.

I went to a school which had mandatory co-op so I got paid for working 6 months for a company. I was going to school for engineering and I can tell most of the relative work experience was working as technician. Technicians are the lowest levels with in the engineering world, yeah only thing lower is the guy sweeping the floor. I too did work on the factory line as well. I did not get engineering wages, but technician wages, it was better than working McDonalds. I know people who intern for media companies like radio stations who do not get paid. They spend most of their days doing errand for others and answering the phones so how is this educational related, it is not, but they will tell you the students get exposure to the operations of the business therefore it is a learning experience.

 

What most people do not realize all this labor news coming out of China is just propaganda put forward and allowed by the government. We all know China senors information and do we really think they would allow all the bad press about workers, of course they do, since they turn to the US companies and tell them to fix the problem or else. Companies like Apple then agree to pay more so worker will get paid more. Labor cost in china continue to grow and this is good for China since it helps them become more like the US. I work for one of those companies and right now I we have formal complains from the Chinese government saying we have Chinese companies doing work for us who are violating the labor laws and we are required to address it. Well the companies are refusing to address unless we pay higher costs. Notice how that works, in the US, the labor department would not contact other companies and them them their US suppliers are not complying with US labor laws and make them fix, the US government would be all over that company who is violating the labor laws. Unless they are an illegal immigrant.

 

In really I have no issue with students doing a internship working on the factory floor as a technician assembling products it is a great experience and will teach them that it is something they may never want to do to earn a living.

post #40 of 48
Quote:
University students from Huai'an in Jiangsu Province were alleged to have been driven to a Foxconn factory after it couldn't find enough workers for production of the "iPhone 5,"

 

Crock of shit. I guess I imagined all those images showing an ocean of people outside of Foxconn desperate to get a job.  But yeah, now Foxconn is kidnapping students, and probably enfants and cute kitties to work in their slave factories,  am i right?

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