Worker commits suicide after iPhone prototype goes missing - reports

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  • Reply 121 of 176
    capnbobcapnbob Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Do we? Is it? If so, why is it a given?



    There's a huge disparity in labor protections and rights in western countries compared to China. It boggles my mind that some think the better standard is their way, not ours. For whatever flaws you might find with our labor laws, with the history of our labor unions, the simple fact remains that we have real labor laws, we have the right to freely unionize, including the right to strike. They don't. That is the underlying issue here. The same could be said for environmental protection, but we don't need to go there.



    I think the author's point was that we already know that conditions are bad in both relative and absolute terms for Chinese workers. I think the point he was also making is that in the whole it is still better than the rural subsistence agriculture that sustained most of the population before industrialization where one bad harvest or natural disaster could kill millions (not that the Communist Govt would have made it easy for us to find out).



    I'm not defending China's abuses but it is moving them in an overall positive direction. For the simplistic chants of "democracy" as an alternative system, it's a nice fairy tale but practically, that is unlikely to offer any short-term benefits and could prove to be even more destructive overall. India is the obvious comparator where "democracy" has allowed the maintenance of 100s of millions of people in abject poverty, political instability far more likely to lead to nuclear war than China and no abatement of the religious, tribal and caste tensions inherent in the country. The offshoring of technology jobs, call-centers etc. has been the successful exception, not the rule in India. Not that India isn't progressing but democracy is no silver bullet.



    Democracy does not come fully formed with a docile, vaguely educated population, accustomed to regular meaningless ballots and without more committed and violent forces prepared to overthrow it at a moment's notice. It has to be earned by its populations - India earned theirs through blood and violence (and sit-ins), hopefully China's evolution will be less traumatic and more successful. Let's face it, economic chaos plus democracy in this complex and uncontrollable world is more likely to lead to 1933 Germany than 1786 America.
  • Reply 122 of 176
    [QUOTE=Wiggin;1452065]And it's not the FIRST story about abuses in a factory manufacturing Apple products. Quick poll: anyone remember the last one? No? Didn't think so.



    Ok, on this board, I'm sure there will be a handful of us that remember it, but the point still stands. How Apple reacts to this will have absolutely no impact on how the majority of people view Apple or it's products because two months from now, nobody will remember this incident.



    I do remember the description of life in Apple's contracted factories earlier on these boards. Many workers never left the (presumably secure) factory compound. The company provided a store where workers could buy what personal supplies they needed. The hours were long. If he had a home outside the facility, he may have been on track for upper management.



    China does not observe any sabbath rest.

    May God rest this dead man's soul.



    Loving the lower prices, we turn a blind eye to labor conditions outside the states in computer assembly and textiles and... and....



    During the Olympics, China closed nearby factories so that athletes would not be impaired by the normally polluted air.
  • Reply 123 of 176
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    You missed my point. My post was sarcastic. It's a joke, that the response to how to fix China's human rights problems is the knee jerk reply, 'democracy.'



    Sorry, I'm usually better at picking up on the sarcasm. Whenever these discussions turn social-political, there is inevitably someone who thinks something like making China a democracy is a practical alternative.
  • Reply 124 of 176
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post


    I think the author's point was that we already know that conditions are bad in both relative and absolute terms for Chinese workers. I think the point he was also making is that in the whole it is still better than the rural subsistence agriculture that sustained most of the population before industrialization where one bad harvest or natural disaster could kill millions (not that the Communist Govt would have made it easy for us to find out).



    So compared to the backwards nation they were before under Marxism, things are better now? End of story, say no more? And forget about basic human rights. It could never work in China.
  • Reply 125 of 176
    What I would like to know is why is Apple off-shoring their core business processes to foreign countries, especially China. One should look to the future about 20 years to see that once Apple becomes ApplePitChina and they have the knowledge to start from scratch why do they need Apple anymore? This holds true for all items. One only has to look at political history between capitalist and proletariat countries and trade between rich and poor countries in the long run. Right now in the US there are lots of Engineers and IT people that are out of work. Why develop something that is bought in this country but not there, in a place that doesn't treat its workers right? China does have state run unions - everybody is in it, but look at the way they treat the Wobblies, a real union from Europe. It seems strange that companies like Apple that are supposed to be forward looking would use labor in sub-standard conditions like in China. The end result will be a fast buck today and a loss of the total business in the future and then loss of the whole industry eventually, like the auto industry. Why an engineer had a 4g protocol in his possession outside of the workspace is kind of strange also. Another anomaly is the treatment that the Chinese government gave to this man. After all, they are only biding their time until Silicon Valley looks like Detroit does today.
  • Reply 126 of 176
    peter236peter236 Posts: 254member
    Foxconn is a Taiwanese company, so why would you blame China?
  • Reply 127 of 176
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    Apple [and everyone else] will continue making their products in the far east until Americans [and labor unions] understand that people don't deserve $35/hour with full benefits and a matching 401k for clicking the green button when the widget stops in front of them, and the red button if something goes wrong.



    the Chinese [Taiwanese, etc] will do these jobs for less than 10% of what Americans will. these jobs will never come back.
  • Reply 128 of 176
    peter236peter236 Posts: 254member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by desarc View Post


    Apple [and everyone else] will continue making their products in the far east until Americans [and labor unions] understand that people don't deserve $35/hour with full benefits and a matching 401k for clicking the green button when the widget stops in front of them, and the red button if something goes wrong.



    the Chinese [Taiwanese, etc] will do these jobs for less than 10% of what Americans will. these jobs will never come back.



    Why would jobs come back to the US, when the factories will go bankrupt like GM?
  • Reply 129 of 176
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by builder7 View Post


    once Apple becomes ApplePitChina and they have the knowledge to start from scratch why do they need Apple anymore? This holds true for all items. One only has to look at political history between capitalist and proletariat countries and trade between rich and poor countries in the long run.



    Hi builder7! Welcome to the boards.



    Please give me an example of a rich country trading with a poor country where the long term result was the poorer country stealing from the richer and swapping places, making the rich country poor.
  • Reply 130 of 176
    anakin1992anakin1992 Posts: 283member
    it is not that you live in an isolated place... it is perfect fine if US sealed its commercial border and completely shield off any other countries product by producing everything home grown. this is what used to be. but not anymore. it is not that only america can build those products while others only have chances to buy. if all are american home grown, how american products compete with those from korea/japan/china in oversea market? even now, you still can buy those products you think as high quality, but it will be suicidal for your business, unless you tell me you are a surgeon who can relentless charge your patients and they don't care.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    I would prefer to suck it up and change the tax laws to favor investment and manufacturing here in the US. If the Chinese cash it their US debt is fine with me... they are going to do it sooner or later. I am sure Uncle Benny at the Fed can issue a $T worth of paper money to the Chinese.



    The trade agreements are really lopsided to the US... both WTO and NAFTA. Now that China is spending huge amounts of money for windmills, and photo electricity, they are using regulations to keep US companies from selling the products. Their excuse is that WTO does not apply to the government controlled electric utilities.



    This rip off the American jobs, capital and technology got to end. A lot of this tech, basic research was developed at the expense of the US taxpayer, including the microchip, robots, LCDs, LEDs, etc. My experience has been that US goods are much better built. Back in 1960s, my parents bought a GE electric iron to press clothes... it lasted till the mid 1980s and my mother go rid of it because the electric cord got worn out. I bought a plasticky GE electric iron and it lasted barely 3 years. Same with the junk tools that I buy these days... the wrenches crack or strip the nuts... I still have my US made tools that I bought in the early 1980s.



    I would rather pay more for quality US products like clothes, appliances, etc that last a long time... instead of Chinese junk stuff. I have to keep on telling the wife not to buy this cheap junk. Any doctors or surgeons in the house? I am getting tired of cheap Chinese or even Indian disposable surgical instruments. Hospitals prefer those to reusable hi quality US or even German instruments that have to be autoclaved.



  • Reply 131 of 176
    capnbobcapnbob Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    So compared to the backwards nation they were before under Marxism, things are better now? End of story, say no more? And forget about basic human rights. It could never work in China.



    Not at all - just that simplistic visions of the inherent effectiveness of democracy are misplaced and probably dangerous. I want the people of China to have all the rights and opportunities of any other people but the clear model for having an effective democracy is when populations earn those rights and understand and feel the real consequences of screwing it up...



    China is a glass half full/empty right now - can we all agree on that?



    (Don't tell me, it's a quarter, a third, 40%... ;-)
  • Reply 132 of 176
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,564member
    Another bull story, Apple build all protos in the US, they use local PCB houses to make protos boards and use a local San Jose company to place parts, many times the actually use lab technicians at apple to place parts and assemble the product. This is how apple has always done it. They would never have Foxconn build proto designs, it takes too long and its too hard to control things like protos leaking out.



    I have been in a local CA PBA house when they were building apple protos, this company is well known for building Apple protos.
  • Reply 133 of 176
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post


    Not at all - just that simplistic visions of the inherent effectiveness of democracy are misplaced and probably dangerous. I want the people of China to have all the rights and opportunities of any other people but the clear model for having an effective democracy is when populations earn those rights and understand and feel the real consequences of screwing it up...



    I didn't know that human rights had to be earned. The entire concept has me gasping.



    Quote:

    China is a glass half full/empty right now - can we all agree on that?



    I'm not at all convinced that it is either half full or half empty. China has me concerned, for reasons previously explained. The government doles out rights as meagerly as possible, and only when the situation threatens to boil over. For one I wonder how long they can succeed in keeping the lid on. For another, I worry that they can keep the country locked down, and build a totalitarian nationalist state more powerful than any the world has ever witnessed. If you ask me, the leadership's model is the latter. They will hold onto as much centralized power as possible, and become as powerful as possible.
  • Reply 134 of 176
    ouraganouragan Posts: 424member
    This could be a very serious matter of industrial espionnage for the design of proprietary chips to be included in 4G iPhones.



    While competitors can buy publically available parts for their own cell phones, and be quite good in selecting the next generation of components, they have no way but industrial espionnage to get the design of proprietary chips before the iPhone 4G goes on sale worldwide.



    And, coincidentally or not, the iPhone 4G prototype was stolen one year before it goes on sale worldwide, giving competitors all the time they need to copy its secret chip design (and, possibly, claim it as their own).



    And because the employee is dead, so is any proof of his guilt and any possibility for Apple to claim that the secret chip design is their own.



    It can be a very serious case of chip espionnage.



    BTW, everyone knows that Chinese individuals are experts at copying and have been doing so for the last 2,000 years. The latest example is that American man of Chinese ancestry convicted of giving to Chinese government officials plans for 85% of the American shuttle (It should be known that the Chinese government doesn't participate in the international space station program, but plans to go on the Moon on its own).



    Industrial spying is alive and well in the Chinese Empire.





  • Reply 135 of 176
    capnbobcapnbob Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    I didn't know that human rights had to be earned. The entire concept has me gasping.







    I'm not at all convinced that it is either half full or half empty. China has me concerned, for reasons previously explained. The government doles out rights as meagerly as possible, and only when the situation threatens to boil over. For one I wonder how long they can succeed in keeping the lid on. For another, I worry that they can keep the country locked down, and build a totalitarian nationalist state more powerful than any the world has ever witnessed. If you ask me, the leadership's model is the latter. They will hold onto as much centralized power as possible, and become as powerful as possible.



    No need to hyper-ventilate, although righteous indignation does seem to become you.



    I didn't say you have to earn them, just that democracies that do seem to turn out to be most successful. Where all rights just suddenly appear over an uneducated population you are more likely to get chaos and back to totalitarianism. All the developed countries populace "earned" their rights over centuries - personal freedom, property, suffrage, equality, etc. I think China's population is "earning" it surprisingly well and quickly and without the chaos and bloodshed that marked most previous evolutions. All the more impressive given the unprecedented scale of the undertaking.



    Of course China could do it better, but the Govt are loosening their grip vs. the total control they had under the old regime while also allowing improved standards of living for a majority (though certainly nowhere near all) of its people. In the end, I believe it is economic well being that fundamentally holds us away from insane mutually destructive wars (rather than the asymmetrical ones we keep fighting these days) - the quicker China has more to lose, the safer it should be for all of us. Let's face it, without this incredible economic development, China would be like a jumbo sized North Korea by now - Nukes in the pocket and nothing to lose.
  • Reply 136 of 176
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


    Waiting for the "blame Apple crowd" to show.



    Who else would you blame? Everyone knows AAPLs culture is really really hard on those in positions with access to development stuff.



    FoxCon is known for this kind of shit, and I , quite frankly, think AAPL managment wants it that way, if Jobs or Cook gave a fuck about human rights, they could end the really sad and sick stories that come out of Foxcon with one call.
  • Reply 137 of 176
    steviet02steviet02 Posts: 594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    It's takes more guts to commit suicide therefore he took the harder way out of the situation?

    Why would someone intentiaonally choose the more difficult way out of something?



    When they feel there is no other option. You apparently have no idea what a psychological effect torture, threats, and mental anguish can have on a human. Especially when they have the ability to follow through with their threats and violence.



    But hey, why don't you go over to China get a job there and 'lose' one of Apples prototypes and let us know how things go.
  • Reply 138 of 176
    user_23user_23 Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I agree with you about the 'bad feeling.'

    . What is your alternative prescription for how these billion+ people should lead better lives?



    they should give up their desperate & lame attempt to imitate the so-called success the west's model known as Capitalism.



    Capitalism _only_ works in the long-term (notice how the capitalist model is scarce 100 years old and it's already depleted the world (potentially) beyond recovery?) when it is feeding a very, very small population of consumers.



    When one throws a hyper-consumptive market like India or China into the mix (esp. on top of the U.S. & Europe), Capitalism begins to tragically fail...due to, obviously, the sheer lack of resources required to feed the Capitalist model.



    Capitalism only works when predicated upon a never-ending supply of raw materials...No such thing.





    too bad for the guy; but, frankly, he's better off dead if his source in life of self-worth & belonging had to do with his ability to honor his relationship with a fucking corporation of all things.



    Jump, my friend, jump...and go gladly into that good night. Perhaps, next time, you'll make a better choice & not enslave yourself to technology (of all things) for your sense of self-worth.
  • Reply 139 of 176
    user_23user_23 Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ouragan View Post


    BTW, everyone knows that Chinese individuals are experts at copying and have been doing so for the last 2,000 years. The latest example is that American man of Chinese ancestry convicted of giving to Chinese government officials plans for 85% of the American shuttle (It should be known that the Chinese government doesn't participate in the international space station program, but plans to go on the Moon on its own).



    Industrial spying is alive and well in the Chinese Empire.









    please, the last 2000 years? it's only in the last several decades that China has even bothered to open her self up to any serious interaction with the "western" world = influence from outside cultures. China of all countries has typically been remarkably insular.



    I'd love to see some sources for your brash statement of "...have been doing so for the last 2,000 years."
  • Reply 140 of 176
    trajectorytrajectory Posts: 647member
    Where do I start....



    1) The guy didn't kill himself over a lost iPhone, he apparently killed himself after being harassed, threatened and possibly tortured. Big difference!



    2) We don't know the whole story yet.



    3) Is China capitalist, communist or fascist? Let's put it this way: workers there are essentially slaves with very low pay.



    4) The mobile phone industry is a multi-billion dollar business. It would not surprise me if there was foul play here. Greedy people do evil things.
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