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iPod City: inside Apple's iPod factories - Page 2

post #41 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
Please, please, please go fuck yourself.

You have GOT to be kidding. Slave labor conditions and you justify it as some necessary step on the glorious road to capitalistic paradise? You wouldn't subject yourself or a family member to those conditions for five minutes, but you'll sit there in your comfortable middle-class existance and claim this is actually good for people? You should be deeply, deeply ashamed. Your comments are some of the most disgusting I have ever seen on the Internet, and that's really saying something.

Here's a quick history lesson to augment your Alabama public school system education. It only took a thousand years in the west for the free market to generate a minumum wage and workers' rights. Due to nothing but blind luck, you now sit on your ass in Starbucks the beneficiary of a millenium of slave and child labor, which of course gives you the moral highground to tell those ingrate dollar a day workers how good they got it.

You know what? I've never spent all day out in the fields behind a mule pushing a plow while Ma spent her day at the fireplace cooking supper. I've also never spent time as a 10 year old working in a coal mine either. So shame on me for allowing what I learned in those fancy college economics classes to rule over emotional hysteria.

Let's please not forget that in order for people to have all of this leisure time to spend outside of work, you have to have already discovered the technological advances that allow people to not have to worry about simply surviving in the first place. So it's hardly as if capitalism was just stubornly waiting around 1000 years before it finally accepted the idea that people deserve a minimum wage and employer provided health benefits.

And if you think China is bad, I'd suggest you go spend some time in east Africa (say Djibouti... yes I've been there) where thousands of people lay around all day in 115 degree heat with no prospects of employment, and live in rock huts or metal shanties. And with very little in the way of natural resources to base an economy off of, and simply having a new well built is a big deal.


On second thought, I agree that China should immediately adopt a 35 hr work week, strict protections from being terminated, and a month of paid vacation. They should all unionize too so they can all walk-out whenever the mood strikes (pun intended) them. It seems to be doing so well for France and other more "enlightened" western European states.
post #42 of 113
This is actually good news put in a negative light. China is home to hundreds of million peasant farmers. On the farm, workers must work 18-hour days with food and housing for pay. Not only that, but farm work is the most backbreaking work known (Working on land outside all day). Workers have no access to healthcare, education, or independence. While in the industrialized city, workers can spend their money as they wish while working in a closed environment such as a factory. They can go to school at night or cure their toothache.

Women benefit the most. On the farm, they must subject themselves to customs in a male dominated society. In the industrialized cities, they have a chance to work hard and move through the ranks to become plant-managers and be independent from the rural areas.

Please view Apple's investments as blessings from the first world to the third world.



post #43 of 113
oh no schmidm, you sound like a completely heartless individual. You see, it is wrong for us to compare the plight of people who have it fairly good by most worldwide standards to the plight of people who really have it bad. You see, we as industrialized nations are really the evil ones who went into their country and enslaved the people to work for what we would consider low wages and for what we would consider long days. And we aren't even going to talk about the fact that without foreign investment, China would be as impoverished as those nations of Africa that you so callously feel have it worse than those Chinese who have jobs. Shame on you sir. Also, please realize that we cannot make decisions or comments based on sound, rational arguments, that we must instead allow the hysteria wave to carry us all, because if we feel guilty about what we have, then the Chinese workers will be loved, and hugged, and happy, and have 5 hour workdays! Don't you see the logic?

[/sarcasm]
Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither - ben franklin

ben franklin was a retard - john
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Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither - ben franklin

ben franklin was a retard - john
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post #44 of 113
I am living in Japan. My students Mother spends 5 hours a day to make ¥2000 by putting together small components for switches, a job that even Japanese firms can't get done cheaper in China. She works from home and uses the money for paying for her kids esl lessons. When I found out I discounted her.
Thanks in part to huge loans to the ever compalining Chinese government from Japan and the investment of Japanese manufacturing giants like Matsushita , Sony and such like. The chinese people don't know why their infrastructure has developed so fast and now they have jobs. They all hate Japan for the past which I don't agree with the glossing over which Japan keeps trying to do , but historically it's what happens everywhere. I am angered at the society here declining so much to fuel China's booming economy. Even Bush asked for money from Japan after 9-11 and then where was the support for Japan ? Most American companies now send orders direct to China and side step Japan. Wages here have dropped and men over 27 years of age have little chance of full employment. Personally with all of the ipod copies poping up with many more functions at cheaper prices I would like to see the made in Japan on the back once more. China loves to copy Japanese goods and licence agreements are lost in court battles over copyright infringements in a Chinese court. The wages here are dropping and the the salary scale which was set on age and need ratio's has hit an empass. Even Sony is striping down it's futuristic product lines . Most of the companies in China have engineers that came to Japan for free education at the universities here, took their knowledge back home and now live in modern condo's and drive BMW's. We all buy Chinese products , we have too their are not enough manufacturer's making who can compete. Like the American car industry the Japanese electronics industries are in decline. Some are fighting back with made in Japan branded products and I think it is a good boost for the local economy.
I just find it disgusting how China continues to be so agressive towards Japan when it has been given so much and ironic how Google and Yahoo censor the web in China , but chinese students have websites saying death to Japan and suchlike. Typed on their 2nd hand sony vaio made in Japan and imported at a cost that they can afford.
Remember the riots ? They were screaming don't buy Japanese goods while taking pictures with their Made in Japan , Sony cybershot cameras and suchlike. Then after the Japanese started cancelling their tickets for their national golden week holidays to china , the Chinese government started to reverse the sentiments and started saying , No! come to China we love you !!
Bit late mate!
post #45 of 113
It's so sad to see a bunch of selfish mental midgets trying to justify a Chinese woman working 15 hours a day for 40 bucks a week, just so they can feel good about themselves and not try and do anything to stop it.
post #46 of 113
So what do you do? Economic sanctions? Only thing that will do is starve the common Chinese. I guarantee the established powers in China won't suffer. Military intervention? I can't see that as justified either. Ruin their reputation? The only reputation I know of the Chinese government is derogatory.

The best plan of action I can see is allowing the slow empowerment of the people to gain wait against the current regime. Everybody wants a quick "right now" solution, but nobody has it. Patience is a virtue folks.
post #47 of 113
While it's really cute for you to talk about those of us who are intelligent enough to realize that in China, $100 a month is a fairly respectable living, please take the time to note that we are not the hypocrites. While it sounds really nice for you to say "We need to do something about this problem in China!" you would also be the first to complain when the cost of everything went up because the Chinese government enforced minimum wage laws. We don't see people living in the same proportion to the rest of the world as a problem, so we do nothing. However, while you see this as a travesty, you continue to revel in your Chinese made, plastic-fantastic world while all the while bemoaning the plight of the Chinese. Which one of us is worse? The one who does not see a problem and therefore acts according to his beliefs, or the one who sees a problem and does nothing about it?

btw, just saying that its bad doesn't count as acting on beliefs
Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither - ben franklin

ben franklin was a retard - john
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Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither - ben franklin

ben franklin was a retard - john
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post #48 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
$99 a month is better than $0 a month because you don't have a job. If it weren't for global consumerism feeding the demand for Chinese manufactured good, they wouldn't be experiencing much of any economic growth at all. I get so tired of hearing all the bleeding hearts agonize over the west's (America's) exploitation of workers in China, when any pain they may be experiencing in the short-term will eventually lead to prosperity in the long-term. And the more they deal and interact economically with the rest of the world, the less the communist system will be able to maintian its grip on the lives of the people.

You've pretty much nailed it.
post #49 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by ChevalierMalFet
Bit irresponsible in that it does not provide context. For instance percentage of Chinese that are underemployed; average wage of Chinese manufacturing laborers, average cost of living in the region the workers reside, or their hometowns.

All of this is information that could be found out by an investigative journalist, likely with little effort, and so it tells me the originators of the article care more about generating an emotional response for their publication than the actual plight of Chinese laborers.

Thank you ChevalierMalFet. Right on. Sloppy "journalism".
post #50 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by mark2005
Why can't people get this concept of relativity into their heads?

Good question.

Quote:
Originally posted by mark2005
What do they teach in Western schools?

Wondering the same myself.

Quote:
Originally posted by mark2005
Or are westerners just getting dumber with each passing generation?

Quite possibly.
post #51 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
a 40 hour work week is a western idea, not china's.

And a relatively recent one too.
post #52 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Shame that all the money they save on labor doesn't translate into lower prices for the products.

It does.
post #53 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Apparatus
It's so sad to see a bunch of selfish mental midgets trying to justify a Chinese woman working 15 hours a day for 40 bucks a week,

It's so sad to see an ignorant person chime on something they are not well informed or educated enough to discuss intelligently.

Quote:
Originally posted by Apparatus
and not try and do anything to stop it.

What are you doing about it?
post #54 of 113
For more on this subject (especially those waving the Righteous Indignation Flag(TM)), check out this book:

The End of Poverty
post #55 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
It only took a thousand years in the west for the free market to generate a minumum wage and workers' rights.

Eh? The free market that you refer to has only existed for about three centuries now.
post #56 of 113
I'm surprised the mods haven't taken this one off the boards yet, considering how far off topic we have gone!

I myself am largely to blame for this, i just so love a moral debate
Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither - ben franklin

ben franklin was a retard - john
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Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither - ben franklin

ben franklin was a retard - john
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post #57 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
It does.

Maybe with Walmart, but not so much with Apple.
post #58 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Maybe with Walmart, but not so much with Apple.

Ummm...no...it has led to lower prices from Apple too.
post #59 of 113
weh weh weh.

well, it's either this or $700 iPod nanos. your call, guys.

it's a shame these people live in these conditions but you just can't compete with a country with such high levels of poverty, where they are desperate and will do anything for a handful of rice.

should we stop buying chinese-manufactured items?

this is what globalization will do to you. it's unfortunate, but if this is the cheapest way to manufacture iPods, then this is the way it has to be, cause Steve has stockholders that want their AAPL to skyrocket. some sick shit huh.
post #60 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Maybe with Walmart, but not so much with Apple.

But it does mean higher profits, which translates into higher stock prices for its investors. And I don't see too many people on these boards complaining about that (even if they are down a bit from their recent highs).
post #61 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by area51boy2000
I'm surprised the mods haven't taken this one off the boards yet, considering how far off topic we have gone!

Really? Why? The topic is about conditions in Chinese factories.
post #62 of 113
just to put it on context, by 2005 estimates, the general cost of living in the US is about 3.98 times higher than in china, so, in PPP (price purchasing parity) terms, that is equivalent to a salary of 398 dollars a month in the US.

(working 15 hours a day in china is the same as working 15 hours a day in the US, is not that they have superpowers and don't need to rest)
post #63 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Maybe with Walmart, but not so much with Apple.

Wrong. Macs were a lot more expensive when they were still manufactured in Cork (and other places).
post #64 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by area51boy2000
hooray for apple for hiring people who allow us to have (relatively) cheap iPods!

You see... this is the mistake everyone makes. The money all these thousands of companies save by using sweatshop labor does NOT get passed on to the consumer. The very thought is laughable. The money they save goes to line their pockets. DUH!
post #65 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Takeo
You see... this is the mistake everyone makes. The money all these thousands of companies save by using sweatshop labor does NOT get passed on to the consumer. The very thought is laughable. The money they save goes to line their pockets. DUH!

I'm afraid that you are incorrect sir.
post #66 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
But it does mean higher profits, which translates into higher stock prices for its investors. And I don't see too many people on these boards complaining about that (even if they are down a bit from their recent highs).

That is not always the case. Great example was the Tech Bubble in late 90s, almost none of the companies made a profit, but they had a huge stock price. Stock prices are far more complicated then that, also a stock that is at 100 dollars isn't always more expensive then a 10 dollar stock. I personally think that Apple's stock is coming into line where it should be.

Also, Apple still has extremely high margins in the computer industry, they are exploiting cheap labor while still charging a premium for their products, where as other companies like Dell exploit cheap labor but have very low margins.

Also Chris, if you can give some examples or even something more then 1 line answers to prove your arguement.
post #67 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Apple Computer's iconic digital music players are built primarily by female works who sometimes earn as little as $50 per week, according to an article in the print edition of Mail on Sunday.

----> A typical factory worker's salary is about $250/month according to the factories I visited in China 1 month ago. So there's nothing new here.

The report, dubbed "iPod City," offers a rare glimpse inside Apple's massive iPod manufacturing facilities, which are owned by Foxconn and situated in China.

By itself, Foxconn's Longhua facility is reported to house over 200,000 workers -- or a population larger the British city of Newcastle. Its exterior gates flaunt billboards encouraging anyone over the age of 16 to apply for a job.

----> This is good work for local people, as "distasteful" as it may sound to us lilywhite Americans.

Inside Longhua, workers labor a 15-hour day building iPods, for which they usually earn about $50 per month.

----> $50/month ---This contradicts the earlier part of this report, and sounds too low. Probably the first figure is correct.

When they're not on the assembly lines, they live in secluded dormitories that each house 100 people and prohibit visitors from the outside world. The workers are allowed "a few possessions" and a "bucket to wash their clothes."

----> Most factory workers live multiple people to a room---up to 6 or 8 in a room at the places I visited---they don't mention that workers get free food and housing.

"We have to work too hard and I am always tired. It's like being in the army," Zang Lan, one of the workers at Longhua, told the Mail. "They make us stand still for hours. If we move we are punished by being made to stand still for longer. The boys are made to do pushups."

----> Sounds like they took one whiner out of...what...200,000(!)...to make it sound worse than it is...

According to the report, the iPod nano is made in a five-story factory called "E3" that is secured by armed police officers. The super-slim digital music player is said to include over 400 parts which arrive from component manufacturers all over the world.

Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai, manufacturers iPod shuffles and is completely surrounded by barbed wire. At this facility, 50,000 workers are housed outside the plant and earn about $99 per month. However, they must pay out of pocket for their accommodations and food, "which takes up half their salaries."

----> I didn't go to Suzhou, but Guangdong is pretty squalid in it's conditions...very dirty.


One security guard told the Mail that the iPod shuffle production lines are staffed by women workers because "they are more honest than male workers."

According to the report, Apple is just one of thousands of companies that now use Chinese facilities to manufacture its products. China's low wages, long hours and industrial secrecy, make the country attractive to business, especially as increased competition and consumer expectations force companies to deliver products at lower prices.

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post #68 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
That is not always the case. Great example was the Tech Bubble in late 90s, almost none of the companies made a profit, but they had a huge stock price. Stock prices are far more complicated then that, also a stock that is at 100 dollars isn't always more expensive then a 10 dollar stock. I personally think that Apple's stock is coming into line where it should be.

Also, Apple still has extremely high margins in the computer industry, they are exploiting cheap labor while still charging a premium for their products, where as other companies like Dell exploit cheap labor but have very low margins.

The general case is that greater profits lead to higher stock prices (over time). But thanks for the lesson in stock analysis.

Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
Also Chris, if you can give some examples or even something more then 1 line answers to prove your arguement.

Regarding what specifically?
post #69 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki
I hope I haven't upset a libertarian socialist ... whenever I open my mouth about globalisation I seem to do that.

You also seem extremely uninformed. Libertarians are nowhere NEAR socialists.

www.lp.org

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post #70 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by ChevalierMalFet
However likely this is, it's not an accusation to make without first hand knowledge. Especially since the source was so lax in their reporting. I'm all for lobbying China institues wage labour institutions that mandate maximum work days, and workplace conditions, the minimum wage bit while useless in our country, would probably help at least until jobs keep pace with workers.


I do have first-hand reporting. I went to about 6 different factories in China and they run the gamut. Some are very advanced and would compare with the top factories in the US, and some are downright primitive, where more hands on deck substitute for adequate machinery that could accomplish the same thing quicker, but it's more expensive. But c'mon... slave labor?... I didn't see anything like that. All factories have barbed wire fences and an armed guard, the people would walk off with every damn thing that isn't nailed down otherwise. \

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post #71 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Takeo
You see... this is the mistake everyone makes. The money all these thousands of companies save by using sweatshop labor does NOT get passed on to the consumer. The very thought is laughable. The money they save goes to line their pockets. DUH!

So, you're of the opinion that averagely-paid US American workers would be able to manufacture an iPod at no additional cost?

Talk about delusional.
post #72 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
You also seem extremely uninformed. Libertarians are nowhere NEAR socialists.

www.lp.org

I've spoken to a few, and at least in this part of the world they're pretty much standard socialist + escape clause for everything any "socialist government" has ever done to its people. The whole thing's a dream ... anarchy + perfect benevolence to your fellow man? I'm far from authoritarian myself, but it sounds like wishful hooey with religious (afterlife perfection) undertones!
post #73 of 113
The AVERAGE income per HOUSEHOLD in China is $1,100.00 PER YEAR! This is very hard for Americans to understand, as most of you could spend that in your car in a couple of months. Sad, but true. I think that writing an article that does nothing but strike an emotional response, that really doesn't help the China economy, but rather links the ipod as a main cause, makes people mad at Apple. This in turn could reduce the amount of ipods sold, and in turn reduces that now $2600 per year for one individual in the household. and the room and board, to NOTHING!
I am so sorry that they are not as Fat, Soft and Spoiled as we have become, but a poor written article like this one, can only make matters worse. Right now this employment is 2.2x the Household average with room and board. No matter how you slice it, it sucks, but it is an upward trend that must continue.
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post #74 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by ReCompile
The AVERAGE income per HOUSEHOLD in China is $225.00 PER YEAR!

I think your numbers may be dated (or otherwise misrepresentative).

As this article illustrates, the per-capita income for the poorest 20 per cent was about US$890 (annually).
post #75 of 113
yet some how i get the feeling that if this were dell or hp being shot on, there would be heaps more boos and hisses. bother it all
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post #76 of 113
Quite likely that Dell and HP are using facilities of similar if not identical companies to manufacture their products, it's just Apple that is being singled out here. Apple's just getting the press because of the high profile of the iPod product.

It's also worth noting that China's economy is not nearly so homogenous as ours is; A huge percentage of the population are essentially non wage earning farmers, contrasting some of their major cities which are urban examples of western capitalism. This large disparity makes things like "average wages" a bit more vague; is it the average wage of the population as a whole, or the wage of the average laborer? Likely those two figures are fairly different.
post #77 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I think your numbers may be dated (or otherwise misrepresentative).

As this article illustrates, the per-capita income for the poorest 20 per cent was about US$890 (annually).

You are so right. I just checked. My figures are from two years ago. The total average is $1,100 (US). the lower 20 percent stands at $890. Thanks for pointing that out. But all the same, the point of my reply stands.
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post #78 of 113
Guess I was Looking for an emotional response!!
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post #79 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by miquet
Even Bush asked for money from Japan after 9-11 and then where was the support for Japan ? Most American companies now send orders direct to China and side step Japan.

I agree the US exploits Japan.. but on the other hand, Japan makes way better cars.

It somehow evens out in the end.

After reading a previous post, I'm personally boycotting Apple for NOT opening up one of these factories in Djibouti.

But, in the end, this can't be enslavement because it's voluntary. These people can either work here or work at some place even crappier, or not work at all out of protest of not making $6/hr like they would in America. Any one of these options would shut down this factory immediately, and it would move to Djibouti.

The article mentioned by this topic was heavily slanted using language. "<i>Only</i> $X/wk", "<i>Forced</i> to stand."

You journalism majors should take note: this is how you're going to convince the world to destroy itself in the future!

Oh, BTW, I'm working at a job where I would be formally disciplined if I sat down while not on break--warehouse worker for a small business. I just started back there today after leaving to go to school for a few months. It doesn't pay very much but I'm working there because nobody else would hire me for such weird hours and for short a time. I can't spend more than $5/day on food with my budget, and in America, that's nothin.

Where's my offensive 12 year-old to fend off the capitalists?
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post #80 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by benjags
just to put it on context, by 2005 estimates, the general cost of living in the US is about 3.98 times higher than in china, so, in PPP (price purchasing parity) terms, that is equivalent to a salary of 398 dollars a month in the US.

(working 15 hours a day in china is the same as working 15 hours a day in the US, is not that they have superpowers and don't need to rest)

Yeah, forgetting the fact that China is really composed of 2 different cultures: those living in cities, and those not living in cities.

In cities in china, the cost of living is probably 50 times higher than those living in rural areas.

They have little specs of 3rd world all over, and that's where the cost of living is insanely low.

Therefore, that cost of living figure is officially moot.

The discrepency in the economy is so wacky, the PRC government actually actively tries to keep rural citizenry from entering the city, especially vendors. It doesn't matter what they're selling, vendors carrying a metric ton of absolutely anything in a caravan (not the car, silly) can offload everything in a few hours, and undercut absolutely any local vendor.

It works really well for china. Now they have the modern city culture which does all the modern stuff, and the factory workers who are living better than they were, but far below what the city folk are used to. It's like a country with a US and a Mexico built write in, only they have the authoritarianism in place to keep the nation divided.

I'd also like to add that I read an article about illegal immigrants from North Korea flocking to china to get a better life. It's not very successful, most of the time, because North Koreans are much shorter than chinese (on average, due to the government trading food for weapons) and speak a different language.

I think the reason Korean writing looks so crazy was actually a plot by the chinese to make everyone else's writing look crazy to koreans.. but I'm crazy, so what do I know... or do I..
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