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Apple terminates contract with supplier after audit finds underage labor violations

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
In Apple's seventh Supplier Responsibility Report released late Thursday, it was revealed that the company no longer does business with a Chinese component supplier due to that firm's use of underage workers.

Audit
Worker prepares iPhone for final assembly. | Source: Apple Supplier Responsibility Report


According to the 37-page report, an audit of Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics in January 2012 found the supplier responsible for 74 underage labor violations, prompting Apple to end its relationship with the circuit board manufacturer.

Apple's code of labor states that child labor is strictly restricted: "The minimum age for employment or work is 15 years of age, the minimum age for employment in that country, or the age for completing compulsory education in thatcountry, whichever is higher."

For the 2013 report, Apple conducted 393 audits across its supply chain, a 72 percent increase from the year before. In all, audits were conducted in 14 countries covering 1.5 million workers at manufacturing facilities and non-production facilities like call centers and warehouses. The company's audits were broken down into five distinct categories: labor and human rights, health and safety; environment; ethics; and management systems.

Overall practices compliance for labor and human rights, which covers concerns like anti-discrimination practices and wages, was at 77 percent while management systems compliance stood at 73 percent. Of note was a high level of adherence to working hour limits, which is capped at a maximum 60-hour work week with at least one day of rest per seven days of work. As for wages, the company required eight facilities to pay back excess foreign contract worker fees worth $6.4 million after they were found to be using bonded labor.

Labor Compliance


Health and safety checks practices and management systems were similar to the above category with 76 percent and 70 percent compliance, respectively. No core violations were found.

Environmental issues have traditionally been a problem for Apple in China, especially concerning the use of hazardous substances pollution. For 2012, overall compliance and management systems compliance was found to be 78 percent and 72 percent, respectively. Besides one supplier being put on probation for dumping a hazardous waste cutting oil into the restroom receptacle, no egregious violations were found.

Ethics was the highest scoring category with practices and management systems compliance at 97 percent and 90 percent, respectively. Metrics measured included business integrity, protection of whistle-blowers and protection of intellectual property. No significant actions were taken, but four facilities gave Apple's audit team falsified payroll and attendance records. These facilities ultimately furnished the correct records and were put on probation.

Management systems was the poorest scoring of the five categories with respective practices and systems compliance at 69 percent and 68 percent, though no core violations or remedial actions were reported. The audit found 158 facilities had no procedures in place for auditing their own suppliers or did not perform adequate reports, 154 facilites did not conduct internal audits and 138 facilites failed to conduct a management review.

Apple has been extremely proactive in ensuring its supply chain is up to international labor standards after the company's 2011 Progress Report found underage labor violations at a partner manufacturer. On top of its self-auditing practices, Apple in 2012 became the first tech company to join the Fair Labor Association.
post #2 of 39

The very fact that Apple ever at any point had anything to do with this company and their child labor makes Apple evil¡

 

Meanwhile, at Samsung… 

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The very fact that Apple ever at any point had anything to do with this company and their child labor makes Apple evil¡

Meanwhile, at Samsung… 

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a headline along the lines of...

Apple Caught Using Child Labor Attempts To Save Face By Distancing Themselves From Supplier

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post #4 of 39

I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work. The fact that these were means they must be from a very poor family who had no other choice. So I hope the loss of Apple's business doesn't cause the place to close, and therefore these families to fall on even harder times.

post #5 of 39
So does Samsung release reports with these kinds of details? What actions has Samsung taken? Microsoft? Other electronics companies? Clothing companies? Any companies at all? Is any Apple competitor doing anywhere near as much as Apple to combat the problems? To expose them to the world and not cover them up? To put their own money on the line over it? To invite independent audits? To publicly share their efforts, their successes, their failures, and what they're going to do next?

Never mind, I forgot... Apple is evil. Samsung and the rest of the "cover it up" companies are always good guys.
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work. The fact that these were means they must be from a very poor family who had no other choice. So I hope the loss of Apple's business doesn't cause the place to close, and therefore these families to fall on even harder times.

To calm your fears, set up shop in the US and bring them over to work for you.

post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamC View Post

To calm your fears, set up shop in the US and bring them over to work for you.

I doubt his point wasn't that they children should be allowed to work but the deeper concern for why children would have to work in those countries or regions.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 39
Watch the stock drop due to "lower margins due to increased components costs resulting from switching to higher-cost component supplier after cutting ties with Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics..."

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #9 of 39

Underage workers don't really concern me. If some poor family wants to let their 14 year old son or daughter work at a decent job and make money, then who am I to deny them that? Is it better if their 14 year old daughter starts turning tricks instead? What matters is production and profit and Apple taking the appropriate steps to make their stock more valuable again. Apple's suppliers should be hiring more workers, to make sure that there are no more unnecessary delays and slowdowns in production.

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work. The fact that these were means they must be from a very poor family who had no other choice. So I hope the loss of Apple's business doesn't cause the place to close, and therefore these families to fall on even harder times.

I started working when I was in high school because my father didn't give decent allowances.  $20 for the week?  Sorry, but my father was CHEAP.  So I started making what some might consider good money back in the late '70's. About $5/hour working in a retail store.  I should have made more but you know how these people take advantage of kids.  We aren't 18, so we don't have any rights.  The place had many kids under 18 working there.

 

If the kids have parental convent there is NOTHING wrong with it.  Don't people in this country go to fast food restaurants and have kids under 18 working there?

 

What I think they don't like is how they TREAT people, that's a concern.  But that's their culture and that's how they discipline their people.  

post #11 of 39
Big difference between getting a paper round or working part time in a shop stacking shelves or filling vegetable bags than leaving school and working full time in a sweat shop for the rest of your existence. If you can't see that then you truly are a terrible human being.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Big difference between getting a paper round or working part time in a shop stacking shelves or filling vegetable bags than leaving school and working full time in a sweat shop for the rest of your existence. If you can't see that then you truly are a terrible human being.

It doesn't follow that because you have a certain job when you're a kid you'll have the same job for the rest of your life. In fact if you're from a poor family, and they can't afford higher education for you, starting on the bottom rung somewhere and working your way up through sheer concentration and effort might be your best option.

post #13 of 39
Underage workers? I want to know why the iPhone 4, a 2 year old product, couldn't be made fast enough last quarter. Whoever is in charge of that should be fired.
post #14 of 39
Good for Apple! It's heartwarming to see a huge corporation doing the right thing.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Underage workers don't really concern me. If some poor family wants to let their 14 year old son or daughter work at a decent job and make money, then who am I to deny them that? Is it better if their 14 year old daughter starts turning tricks instead? What matters is production and profit and Apple taking the appropriate steps to make their stock more valuable again. Apple's suppliers should be hiring more workers, to make sure that there are no more unnecessary delays and slowdowns in production.


You're not exactly heartwarming.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I started working when I was in high school because my father didn't give decent allowances.  $20 for the week?  Sorry, but my father was CHEAP.  So I started making what some might consider good money back in the late '70's. About $5/hour working in a retail store.  I should have made more but you know how these people take advantage of kids.  We aren't 18, so we don't have any rights.  The place had many kids under 18 working there.

 

If the kids have parental convent there is NOTHING wrong with it.  Don't people in this country go to fast food restaurants and have kids under 18 working there?

 

What I think they don't like is how they TREAT people, that's a concern.  But that's their culture and that's how they discipline their people.  


<18 is not <15

Also, you're basically arguing that to each country its own rules (sounds interesting... why's America in Irak/Afghanistan again?) .

 

On top of which, you're deliberately equating "having a side job", which from 15 is considered OK in most countries to the problem, which is more "being out-of-school at 12 to work in a sweatshop". Not to mention children are more fragile to exposure to toxics than adults, due to their organism still being under construction.

 

I think your reasoning might benefit from a bit more thought...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #17 of 39

It's getting harder and harder to employ the youth these days, working at 15 never did me any harm.

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I started working when I was in high school because my father didn't give decent allowances.  $20 for the week?  Sorry, but my father was CHEAP.  So I started making what some might consider good money back in the late '70's. About $5/hour working in a retail store.  I should have made more but you know how these people take advantage of kids.  We aren't 18, so we don't have any rights.  The place had many kids under 18 working there.

If the kids have parental convent there is NOTHING wrong with it.  Don't people in this country go to fast food restaurants and have kids under 18 working there?

What I think they don't like is how they TREAT people, that's a concern.  But that's their culture and that's how they discipline their people.  

You got $20 per week allowance to be unacceptable in the 70s and considered your father cheap? Minimum wage in the 70s was something like $1.75 (I know - I had several minimum wage jobs in the 70s) so your $20 was the equivalent of someone else who worked about 12 hours a week. And then you complain about $5 per hour - three times the minimum wage?

Amazing.
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post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Amazing.

Perhaps the dr. was shooting blanks.
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post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work. The fact that these were means they must be from a very poor family who had no other choice. So I hope the loss of Apple's business doesn't cause the place to close, and therefore these families to fall on even harder times.


Maybe, but it's not a behavior that has to be encouraged. There has to be a point where it's forbidden. A generation may suffer from it, then society adapts.

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Big difference between getting a paper round or working part time in a shop stacking shelves or filling vegetable bags than leaving school and working full time in a sweat shop for the rest of your existence. If you can't see that then you truly are a terrible human being.

 

You are quick to put your words in his mouth and then condemn him. It sounds like the current gun law debate in the US. "If you oppose a gun ban, you support the murder of children. What a terrible human being!"

post #22 of 39
have you no "faith?" I'll bet there are a lot of kids in the US would gladly change places with their Chinese counterparts.
post #23 of 39

Good job, Apple. :)

 

I hope these kids now get the education that they deserve.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work. The fact that these were means they must be from a very poor family who had no other choice. So I hope the loss of Apple's business doesn't cause the place to close, and therefore these families to fall on even harder times.

 

So Apple is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Typical. That's why no company should give a damn about political correctness or the cause du jour. Here's my headline...

 

"Apple kicks small firm to the curb. Employees decend into abject poverty. Tim Cook refuses comment."

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post


Maybe, but it's not a behavior that has to be encouraged. There has to be a point where it's forbidden. A generation may suffer from it, then society adapts.

It is not necessary to forbid it because no parent wants their kids to work anyway. If these poor kids are allowed to work then they can afford to send their kids to school and the cycle of poverty is broken. Banning is counterproductive.

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work. The fact that these were means they must be from a very poor family who had no other choice. So I hope the loss of Apple's business doesn't cause the place to close, and therefore these families to fall on even harder times.

On the positive side, some other company, most likely another Chinese company employing people who don't have a lot of other options, will have to take up the slack and presumably hire some people who are not underage.

post #27 of 39
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
I'm sure no parents, all over the world, want their kids to work.
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
…no parent wants their kids to work anyway.

 

That's crazy. Of course some parents want their children to work. It's laughable to suggest otherwise.

 

The distinction you're trying to make is that the parents who DO want their children to have jobs are the ones who don't need their children to have jobs. They're well enough off on their own; the job is just a character-, responsibility-, and personal finance-building exercise for the child rather than something that will keep the family as a whole alive.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Underage workers don't really concern me. If some poor family wants to let their 14 year old son or daughter work at a decent job and make money, then who am I to deny them that? Is it better if their 14 year old daughter starts turning tricks instead? What matters is production and profit and Apple taking the appropriate steps to make their stock more valuable again. Apple's suppliers should be hiring more workers, to make sure that there are no more unnecessary delays and slowdowns in production.

I absolutely agree and I don't understand why others are criticizing you.   In fact, I think Apple should have its suppliers lower wages around the world and stop providing ridiculous benefits like dorm rooms that sleep 12, because who cares if a 14 year-old son or daughter has less to eat or sleeps in the street and it's unacceptable that Apple's margins have dropped 2%.         It's warm in a lot of those places anyway and they're used to terrible living conditions, so this won't be any worse.   They should be thankful that they get to work on these great products, since they'll never be able to afford them anyway.    The only thing that's important is the Apple stock price because if we can't earn 400% a year on Apple stock, than Apple must be running the company in an unethical and incompetent manner.     

 

And there are only two choices:   having 14 year-old kids work in an Apple factory or becoming prostitutes.    There are absolutely no other options.    It's a binary decision.    

 

I used to work at a movie theatre in an air-conditioned shopping mall 15 hours a week for minimum wage, so this is exactly the same thing.   Except that they get paid a lot less.    And that they don't see their parents anymore.    And that they work 60 hours a week standing in the same position on a factory line and that they're not permitted to talk.    And that the chance of them ever going back to school is next to nil.    

 

But as long as every person in the world can buy the next model of the iPhone on the first day it's released and not have to wait, that's all fine because we know what's really important here.     In fact, a war with China might be really great because as we win it we can take all the people we capture, including more kids, and push them into forced labor factories, which would substantially lower Apple's costs and improve margins, thereby restoring the stock price.   I don't know why other posters don't understand what's truly important.   

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I absolutely agree and I don't understand why others are criticizing you.   In fact, I think Apple should have its suppliers lower wages around the world and stop providing ridiculous benefits like dorm rooms that sleep 12, because who cares if a 14 year-old son or daughter has less to eat or sleeps in the street and it's unacceptable that Apple's margins have dropped 2%.         It's warm in a lot of those places anyway and they're used to terrible living conditions, so this won't be any worse.   They should be thankful that they get to work on these great products, since they'll never be able to afford them anyway.    The only thing that's important is the Apple stock price because if we can't earn 400% a year on Apple stock, than Apple must be running the company in an unethical and incompetent manner.     

 

That's one picture you've painted, here's another. A young teen goes to a climate controlled environment (static and dust are harmful to electronics), sits on a cushioned stool, and puts pieces of a motherboard together. He makes enough money that his family can now have two meals a day. Previously, he would work all day on the farm in the searing heat, and his family could only afford one meal a day. 
 
He is proud of what he is able to do for his family, and vows to work his way up the ladder so that by the time he has his own kids, he will be earning enough to send them to school so they won't have to work like he did.
 
I just don't think that when one thinks of work, one should immediately think of slavery as you seem to. There is such a thing as work that's not slavery.
post #30 of 39
Whilst I don't defend child labour at all there is a massive shortage of workers in SE China which may explain this situation.

Typically goes like this. Worker goes East to find work. Gets it. Earns enough to buy a house/banks enough to live a happy life in home town. Gets end of year bonus. Goes home. Does not return.
post #31 of 39

You guys have it all wrong. See the story is about making Apple a feel good kind of company so elitist westerners will love their Apple gadgets all the more. The world is safe in Apple's hands.

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post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

That's one picture you've painted, here's another. A young teen goes to a climate controlled environment (static and dust are harmful to electronics), sits on a cushioned stool, and puts pieces of a motherboard together. He makes enough money that his family can now have two meals a day. Previously, he would work all day on the farm in the searing heat, and his family could only afford one meal a day. 
 
He is proud of what he is able to do for his family, and vows to work his way up the ladder so that by the time he has his own kids, he will be earning enough to send them to school so they won't have to work like he did.
 
I just don't think that when one thinks of work, one should immediately think of slavery as you seem to. There is such a thing as work that's not slavery.

Excellent response; fully agree.
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post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


You're not exactly heartwarming.

I plead guilty. lol.gif

 

To be honest, I'm not really too interested in any heartwarming Apple stories, and I don't see Apple financially gaining anything from this particular story.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

And there are only two choices:   having 14 year-old kids work in an Apple factory or becoming prostitutes.    There are absolutely no other options.    It's a binary decision.    

 

I don't know exactly what the local conditions are in those parts of the world, but I'm guessing that they don't have that many different choices to choose between, and landing a job assembling products at a supplier seems like a decent choice.

post #35 of 39
I don't agree with calling it slavery. They may be caught in a corrupt or poor system but they are not forced to work without pay.

I don't agree with the end justifiying the means. I feel that it's wrong for children to work all day in leui of getting an education and would like to see every nation on this planet enforce laws that prevent such acts that limit the mental growth and awareness and create opportunities for the betterment of all mankind.

Of course, that's either said than done and if you have no food then even stealing becoming an option when death is in the line. But does that mean Apple should actively break the law and support children in the workplace and excessive hours?

It seems to me that child labour laws were not designed to screw over children and companies that use children over adults aren't doing so because they care about the well being of these children and couldn't find an adult to do that job. History has such grievances being a way to abuse cheap labour.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #36 of 39

Questionable timing of the report's release.

 

Just when the avalanche of stock sell off, Apple insists its doing the world a favor by being proactive in labor practices.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Questionable timing of the report's release.

Just when the avalanche of stock sell off, Apple insists its doing the world a favor by being proactive in labor practices.

Yeah, they just now decided to do anything about labour laws, wages, and safety conditions among their hundreds of suppliers around the world¡ 1oyvey.gif

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #38 of 39
Good forbid a kid will work, my son has had his own business since he was 14, he has company name and an LLC and pays taxes and all. I do not see our government complaining he is working and owns his own business. Hell if you work on TV any kid of any age can work in the US as long as you carry Actors Guild union card and pay your union fees, Look at how many screwed up kids come out of the US acting industry. Why are they not being hounded for child labor.

Yeah I know, kids under 18 are not allow to have an LLC, He listed as a owner and I am the Managing Partner of the LLC for Legal matters. He is not legally allowed to sign contracts but he legally allowed to sign his tax return for the business. Typical double standards our government has.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Yeah I know, kids under 18 are not allow to have an LLC, He listed as a owner and I am the Managing Partner of the LLC for Legal matters. He is not legally allowed to sign contracts but he legally allowed to sign his tax return for the business. Typical double standards our government has.

Isn't there a way around that? Like if he was emancipated, then couldn't he be considered an adult under the law?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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